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THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/lastmaOOmcla 



THE LAST MAN 



A NOVEL 



BY 



N. MONROE MCLAUGHLIN 



\10N IN SOLO 




WASHINGTON 

THE NEALE COMPANY 

431 ELEVENTH STREET NORTHWEST 
1900 



COPYRIGHT, 1900, BY N. M. M'LAUGHLIN 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



TO MY WIFE 



603120 



PREFATORY. 



After the major part of this story had been writ- 
ten, events of transcendent importance to the nation 
occurred, events following each other with such 
rapidity as to challenge and command the admira- 
tion of the civilized world. To enumerate or de- 
scribe such would be presumptuous, and no work 
of that nature will be attempted. 

Great responsibilities have been assumed, great 
problems are to be solved, and the greatest wisdom 
will be required to meet these new conditions and 
develop the results which may be rightfully ex- 
pected of the nation. Best of all thus far attained 
is the sweet revelation that there ought not to be — 
and is no longer — a North, a South, an East, or 
a West ; but, instead, one great, indivisible, patri- 
otic, prosperous country and people. 

Pessimism — that bird of evil form and omen — 
may now betake itself to the dark abodes of despair, 
While Optimism displays her fine form and richly- 
tinted plumage in the bright rays of the sun of 
prosperity. 

This story, aiming to be consonant with the views 
here set forth, is now presented to his fellow-citizens 
by 

THE AUTHOR. 

March i, 1900. 



INDEX. 

Prologue 9 

The Beginning 17 

Preliminary Engagements 25 

War in Earnest 34 

Deliverance 44 

The Wrestling of Giants 53 

In the Hands of the Enemy 62 

Convalescence 72 

Exchanged 83 

Promotion 95 

Cogitations 108 

The Troth-Plight 119 

The Marriage 130 

The Fiery Furnace 141 

" The Hawk's 'Nest " I53 

Light Ahead 164 

The Wanderer's Return 174 

The Colony 186 

The Broken Link I95 

Lengthening Shadows 206 

The Ending 215 



THE LAST MAN 



PROLOGUE. 



Never S'hone the sun more brightly than on July 
4, 1926. It is the one hundred and fiftieth anni- 
versary of the birth of the great Republic, and the 
one hundredth anniversary of the deaths of two of 
its earlier Presidents. Washington, "The City 
Beautiful," the Capital, is to celebrate this day of 
days, and call to mind the greatness, the patriotism, 
and the distinguished services of those two chief 
magistrates, eminent among the immortals who 
enacted and signed the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. 

From thousands of fiagstafifs and windows, on 
the tops of all the Government buildings, at the 
Arsenal and the Navy Yard, at Fort Myer, above 
the crown of the Goddess of Liberty — bedecked in 
costliest gilding, on statues of heroes in parks and 
other public places, on street cars, steam cars, and 
steamers, floats "Old Glory," — the banner of beauty, 
the sign of liberty for the world, in whose azure 
field glitter and sparkle fifty bright stars ! 

Thirteen then ; fifty now ! 

Upon the fronts of thousands of business blocks, 
palatial residences, and even upon the cots of the 



10 THE LAST MAN 

poor, and from strong ropes stretched at greatest 
heights across streets and avenues, hang in shields, 
clusters, festoons, and other multiform shapes, the 
gayest of bunting, the whole transforming the 
Capital into a bower of transcendent beauty and 
magnificence. 

Down in Monument Lot, and Grand Army Place, 
the hand and the genius of the decorator are sig- 
nally displayed. 

Flags large, flags small, and bunting everywhere ! 

Memorial Bridge, that noblest example of similar 
structures, is literally hidden by its massive decora- 
tions. 

Depending from the windows near the summit of 
the Washington Monument, on massive staffs, float 
flags more than forty feet in length by twenty in 
wddth. 

At varying heights, from fifty to a hundred feet, 
suspended by strong ropes depending from the 
windows of the Monument, hang greatly magnified 
copies of the Declaration, and portraits of all the 
Presidents, the two whose lives and deaths are to be 
commemorated occupying the lowest altitude, in 
order to be easily and accurately seen and studied. 

At the northwest angle of the Monument there 
is a spacious platform, and on its flanks and in front 
is a great structure of seats, arranged as an amphi- 
theater, for the occupancy of the organizations that 
are to be present : The Sons of the Revolution, 
Daughters ol the Revolution, Sons and Daughters 
of the American Revolution, sons and daughters of 



PROLOGUE 11 

the veterans of later wars, and professors and 
alumni of the four great universities at the Capital. 

On the platform are to sit the President, his 
Cabinet, the Supreme Court, Senators and Mem- 
bers of Congi-ess, the Committee of Arrangements, 
and the reader and speakers. 

In front of these, and at a lower elevation, facing 
the audience, is to sit the greatest aggregation of 
singers and instrumentalists ever assembled. 

The city clocks simultaneously strike the hour 
of ten. Chimes of bells ring out the notes of the 
national aiuthem ; great guns on the White Lot, 
down at the Arsenal, and over at Fort Myer, bel- 
low so loudly as to shake the very earth, stir the 
air with quivers, and send troops of echoes chasing 
each other up and down the Potomac, away to the 
hills of Anacostia and over to the massive pineries 
of silent, sacred Arlington. Drums in every direc- 
tion roll out their deep bass notes; bugles sound 
the signal for marching; and, anon, from every 
point of the compass, from a score of armories and 
rendezvous, march forth and forward along streets 
and avenues the various societies and gaily uni- 
formed companies and battalions of men under 
arms, all moving toward the Monument, that loftiest 
commemorative pile under the sun. 

Meantime, thousands of citizens, within a radius 
of many miles, come pouring in over street rail- 
ways, steam railways, on steamers, and across 
Memorial Bridge ; and two hundred thousand of 
the people of the city, one-third of its population, 



12 THE LAST MAN 

join these and swell the mass to gigantic propor- 
tions. 

Quickly, yet without confusion, the component 
parts of this wonderful assemblage are in place, 
and the advertised functions begin. 

First, the vast choir, accompanied by the orches- 
tra, renders that grand old hymn, "America." At 
every accented note a gun in the battery, two hun- 
dred yards distant, is fired by electricity, discharged 
by touching a keyboard on the grand stand. 

The very sky seems to echo the grand prayer — 

"Long may our land be bright, 
With freedom's holy light ! 
Protect us by Thy might, 
Great God, our King!" 

As the last note ceases, a tall, scholarly-looking 
Doctor of Divinity stands forth and utters an elo- 
quent invocation, which is followed by the singing 
of "Tlie Star-Spangled Banner," accompanied not 
only by artillery and anvils, but by a beautiful and 
elaborate Rag drill performed by a bevy of fifty 
young girls, decorated with the national colors. 

Then rises and advances to the front of the plat- 
form the young man, a university student, wliose 
office it is to read that immortal paper, the Decla- 
ration. 

With a voice of great power, depth, and reso- 
nance, he begins : "When in the course of human 
events" — his delivery is perfect and masterful, and 
the immense throngs are electrified and fascinated. 
He proceeds : "We hold these truths to be self- 



PROLOGUE 13 

evident" — he ceases to read ; what has happened ? 
A low-toned, wide-spread buzz of wonder pervades 
the mass of people, and the reader, following their 
upward gaze, beholds a spectacle never seen before, 
and, perhaps, never to be seen again under like 
circumstances. High above the apex of the Monu- 
ment a genuine American eagle, "the bird of free- 
dom," soars in circles whose center is the mighty 
shaft extended upVvard. At short intervals he 
emits that peculiar note which belong-s to his spe- 
cies alone. For several minutes he continues to 
describe those circles, while the concourse of peo- 
ple regard the incident as a special omen of good ! 
Has the "Majesty of all the earth" sent this bird, 
as He set His bow of promise in the cloud, and for 
a like purpose? At length the bird soars away in a 
direct line across the Potomac to the heights and 
pines of Arlington. 

The reader resumes, interrupted frequently by 
great applause, and when he closes with those 
impassioned words, "we pledge our lives, our for- 
tunes and our sacred honor," flags wave wildly, 
guns speak, bands play, and the people, with one 
accord, rise and give vent to one long, loud, deafen- 
ing shout that is heard in Anacostia. 

An orator, than whom few are more gifted, now 
engages attention. He congratulates his hearers 
upon the perfect day, the "azure skies bending o'er 
them," the almost limitless number of people pres- 
ent, the beauty of the decorations, the magnificent 
spirit that prompted all this expenditure, and, best 



14 THE LAST MAN 

of all, that on this, the dearest spot on earth, except 
each one's home, the most completely American 
of all places under Heaven, is celebrated this anni- 
versary. 

As he raises his eyes and face to emphasize his 
last words, another strange spectacle meets his 
gaze. His voice ceases, but his steady look upward 
directs the eyes of the audience. Wonder of won- 
ders ! Beautiful apparition ! Happy omen ! Directly 
over and surrounding the apex of the Monument 
in a circle of thirty degrees or more in diameter, a 
most magnificent corona shines ! 

In glad, sweet silence, broken only by low mur- 
murs and ejaculations, the multitudes gaze for many 
moments. 

At length the orator, recovering his voice and 
self-control, breaks forth : "Tlie Bird of Freedom, 
now so rare, comes many a weary league from his 
mountain crag to visit this spot and this scene ; and 
now, O rarest gift of God ! He again sets His bow 
of promise over and above this sacred pile, as a 
token that the Republic shall live 'tO' the last syl- 
lable of recorded time !' " For fully half an hour 
the corona remains, then slowly fades away. 

The elaborate program has been followed until 
the last number is reached. 

• A space on the platform is cleared, upon which 
comes a bevy of little maidens, two by two, strew- 
ing flowers as they move. Following them, ad- 
vances a body of boys and young men, bearing 
each a flag which he waves in time with music. 



PROLOGUE 15 

Then approaches, leaning on the shoulder of a stal- 
wart young man on each side, a tall, erect, gray- 
haired man of at least eighty-four winters. His 
eyes are clear and expressive ; his face beams with 
benevolence and happiness, and his lips are 
wreathed in a genuine, natural smile. 

Meantime a forest of flags wave and cheerful but 
deafening shouts fill the space for a furlong around. 

The master of ceremonies signals for silence, and 
announces that the committee had made great 
effort to secure the presence of a company of such 
men as the one now before them, but that the 
attempt had been futile, and facts in possession of 
the committee showed, beyond a doubt, that this 
is the sole man of his class now living. 

"A brief address," announces the chairman, 'Svill 
now be presented by the Hon. John W. Francis, 
the Secretary of State." 

The speaker, after shaking hands with the aged 
man, begins with a paraphrase of Webster's cele- 
brated oration at the dedication of Bunker Hill 
Monument : "Venerable man ! you have come 
down to us from a former generation!" He then 
portrays the life and services of the man before 
them, and closes with the peroration : "May the 
God of nations, caring for this nation in the future 
as in the past, continue to raise up men, like this 
man, equal to every emergency, inspired by holy 
patriotism, and fired by dauntless courage, that the 
cause of liberty, defined by law; the cause of 
humanity and human elevation, promoted and en- 



16 THE LAST MAN 

hanced by the useful as well as the ornamental arts 
and sciences ; and the cause of God, promoted and 
illustrated by the fullest 'freedom to worship Him' 
in accord with the wishes and desires of each wor- 
shiper, may be assured to all generations ! And, 
to secure and perpetuate these paramount princi- 
ples and privileges, shall ever be the highest, the 
holiest, the most engrossing of all the thoughts, 
ambitions, and engagements of American freemen !" 

He bows and retires, and so does the aged man. 

The pageant is ended. 

Who is this mxan? 



I. 

THE BEGINNING. 

"What is all this talk and excitement about?" 
asked a student of Magnolia College of his com- 
panion, as they walked from their rooms to the 
college chapel to attend the devotional exercises of 
the morning. 'T hear talk about war, and last 
evening two prominent business men agreed that 
'matters had gone so far that nothing would settle 
the difficulty but a resort to the last argument, — 
arms.' " 

"What is it all about?" his fellow student, who was 
more addicted to the use of newspapers than books, 
blurted out. "Wby, Brown, what an ignoramus 
you are ! Don't you know that the Southern States 
and the Government are going to have a war?" 

"No, I didn't, and don't know it yet," said Brown. 
"I have been so busy, Beach, that I have given but 
little attention to other matters, and it was a mere 
accident that I heard what I have told you. What 
is the cause of the war, if there is to be a war?" 

"Well, Brown, you are the most innocent, if not 
the most ignorant, fellow outside of a prison or an 
asylum. Why, every boy in the country knows 
tliat there is to be war, and knows the cause, too." 

"Then post me up on these matters, Beach, do." 

2 



18 THE LAST MAN 

"Well," began Beach, "the trouble originated 
long ago, when the State of Massachusetts threat- 
ened to resist a statute of the United States because 
she thought it detrimental to her interests. Later, in 
1832, South Carolina, under the leadership of a dis- 
tinguished citizen, tried to nullify a statute of the 
General Government. In each case the attempt 
failed, but the notion or sentiment which prompted 
the efifort at rebellion did not die, but instead took 
root like a noxious weed in a fertile soil, and grew 
up into a doctrine called 'State's rights'; that is, 
that any State thinking its rights tmder the Con- 
stitution have been violated or abridged may secede 
from the Union. This doctrine, or notion, has 
been advocated and approved by many leading men 
in twelve Southern States, seven of which have 
already enacted an ordinance of secession, as they 
call it, and other States will soon follow. Several 
United States Senators and Representatives from 
these States have left Congress and gone home to 
assist in the act of secession. Quite a large num- 
ber of the Army and Naval officers of tlie Govern- 
ment, educated and trained at public expense, under 
the folds of the flag, have deserted and gone to the 
ranks of secession. The cause of the contention 
on the part of the South, under their doctrine of 
State rights, is negro slavery. They insist that the 
Constitution recognizes and protects the institution, 
and, pushing their vantage in this respect, they 
have secured a decision from the Chief Justice of 
the United States which would virtually carry slav- 



THE BEGINNING 19 

ery into every State and Territory. All this the 
great body of people loyal to the Government deny 
and oppose, and insist that the 'Union is one and 
indivisible' ; that a State trying to get out shall be 
compelled to stay in the Union." 

"But why do the two sections not compromise 
the matter?" queried Brown. "A compromise 
would surely be preferable to a conflict." 

"Not always, and perhaps not often," said Beach. 
"Compromises rarely, if ever, settle the matters in 
dispute. At the best, they only postpone the settle- 
ment to a future time, perhaps to a future genera- 
tion. Read the history of Europe for the last six 
centuries. Alany compromises have been entered 
into, but every now and then each matter compro- 
mised has reappeared, like a very ghost of Banquo. 
In our own case there have been several compro- 
mises within the last thirty years, none of which 
have attained their object, until now neither party 
thinks of further compromise, and the conflict is 
inevitable." 

"Well, if it must come," said Brown, with much 
spirit and emotion, "I am for the Union forever ! 
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue !" 

"There spoke a patriot and the son of a patriot !" 
said Beach. "Shake hands on it, old boy !" 

They indulged in a firm hand clasp as they 
reached and entered the college chapel. 

The chaplain prayed that the nation might be 
delivered from fratricidal war ; that the President 



20 THE LAST MAN 

and Congress might be endowed with wisdom to 
see and pursue the path of duty, and that the people 
might be obedient to law and "lead peaceable and 
quiet lives." 

He then announced that, as the signs of the times 
betoken serious difficulty in the near future be- 
tween the Government and certain of the States 
which had by their legislatures passed what they 
called an ordinance of secession, it became every 
young man to read and study events as published 
from day to day, and solemnly decide what would 
be his duty if war should come, and the clash of 
resounding arms be heard in the land. 

All this occurred in the winter of 1860-61. The 
excitement increased each day, and patriotism, 
Which had been for a generation previous merely a 
sentiment, suitable for the florid efiforts of Fourth 
of July orators, suddenly became a real thing, a 
sun whose light and heat irradiated and warmed 
into life every State, city, hamlet, and country-side 
in the broad, loyal land. "The Union, it must and 
shall be preserved !" became, in feeling as well as 
word, the motto of millions. 

It needed but a spark to fire the magazine. 

Meantime, the States attempting secession had 
formed a bond of union under the title of The Con- 
federate States of America, and the leaders, in imi- 
tation of the old thirteen colonies, had pledged their 
lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to 
secure independence from that very Union which 
their grandfathers had helped to frame. The blood 



THE BEGINNING 21 

and temper of the Southern people were super- 
heated, and, from their point of view, their object 
would soon be attained, by the consent of the Gov- 
ernment, or by force of arms. 

Thus matters stood on March 4, 1861, when 
Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office as Presi- 
dent and Commander-in-Chief of the Amiy and 
Navy of the United States. During the few 
weeks following, the Confederates made vigorous, 
rapid and effective preparations for the conflict, 
w'hich they now saw would come ; while the Gov- 
ernment and the loyal people of the North sat inac- 
tive, hoping, wishing, believing, that it would never 
come. 

On April 12, 1861, the fatal spark reached the 
magazine, when the Confederates fired the first 
gun at Fort Sumter, a Government fort. 

On April 13, President I>incoln called for seventy- 
five thousand volunteers to put down the rebellion. 
His proclamation and call for troops was read to 
the alumni of Magnolia College next morning. 

The President of the College, standing before the 
students in the chapel, said : "Young men, the hour 
has come ! The flag is insulted ! The Union is in 
peril ! What will you do ? Will you rally in their 
defense? Are you ready, now, here? If so, rise 
with me !" Every man rose ! Within thirty min- 
utes Mr. Lincoln was reading the following mes- 
sage : "Two full companies of students of Mag- 
nolia College volunteered ten minutes ago. We 
are ready ! We await orders !" 



22 THE LAST MAN 

One of these young- men, Alfred Boyd, like his 
fellows, had heard the bugle calling 

"On to glory or the grave !" 

In the organization of the two companies young 
Boyd was elected to a lieutenancy. He was so 
quiet, so manly, so generous, and, withal, so regard- 
ful of the rights and feelings of his fellow-students, 
that the vote was unanimous. 

For weeks following came equipping, drilling, 
and other preparations for the trial by fire. The 
Southern troops had the advantage in these re- 
spects. They were at home ; knew their country 
well ; were acclimated ; and felt that their blows 
would be in defense of their country and their 
homes. 

The Government troops, on the contrary, must 
be marched or transported hundreds of miles to 
hostile States, ready to "receive them with bloody 
hands to hospitable graves." They must become 
acclimated, used to the water, and adapted to many 
other conditions. They were strangers to the 
topography of the country, its streams, mountains, 
ravines, and strategic points. 

A great mistake had been made by the people of 
each section. The Southern people thought them- 
selves invincible, because, as they boastfully put it, 
"one Southerner could whip two, three, or even five 
Yankees." 

The Northern people, so strong in superior num- 
bers, saw, or thought they saw, peace at the close 



THE BEGINNING 23 

of a war of but a few months' duration ; and a 
very distinguished man and high officer of the 
Government proclaimed that the war would be 
ended within ninety days. 

Each section had forgotten that the people of the 
other section were Americans. Had both sections 
known before the war began what they learned 
during the war, it would never have begun. 

Who, for example, saw, or even imagined, what 
a war would cost ? 

Who thought of the billions of money and prop- 
erty which was absolutely lost or destroyed? 

Who dreamed of the wholesale loss of half a 
million of young lives, the choicest of the whole 
country? Of the long, sad processions of marred, 
helpless, broken-down men who survived the war? 
And of the still greater multitude of fathers, 
mothers, sisters, wives and children, with tear- 
stained cheeks, clad in the habiliments of mourn- 
ing for loved ones who never came back? 

Who foresaw the terrible paralysis of nearly all 
industrial pursuits and interests ; the impairment 
of public morals ; the suspension, if not the death, 
of churches, schools, societies, and scientific efforts 
and enterprises, and the threatened disruption of 
those ties, and the abandonment of those safe- 
guards, which distinguish civilized from savage 
life? 

Well will it be if the present and coming genera- 
tions shall learn from history what veterans, both 



24 THE LAST MAN <- 

North and South, learned from experience, that 
"war is cruel," unrelenting and destructive; that 
it should never be invoked unless it cannot be 
avoided; and that those who originated and pre- 
cipitated our Civil War are to be held responsible 
for its irreparable results and consequences. 



II. 

PRELIMINARY ENGAGEMENTS. 

The battles of 1861 were mere skirmishes com- 
pared with many that followed. Small as they 
were, however, they were of the greatest use to the 
combatants of both armies. Through these, they 
saw that a long war had begun, and that ultimate 
victory would be won by the force which could 
endure longest. Each side had learned, too, that it 
had "a foeman worthy of its steel." During the win- 
ter of 1861-62, the energies of both sections were 
employed in arming and training the new recruits, 
numbering, on both sides, hundreds of thousands. 
Occasionally forays and raids by both sides varied, 
to some extent, the regular round of camp and 
garrison duty. What follows will give a faint idea 
of many incidents that occurred during that winter. 

The regiment of which Lieutenant Boyd's com- 
pany formed a part was one of the very best of the 
many splendid regiments from his State. 

In the fore part of December, a Confederate 
colonel, with his regiment of cavalry, made a night 
attack upon a camp of Union soldiers and recruits 
at Gramercy, W. Va^ captured everything, killed 
some of the men, and paroled the rest ; burnt build- 
ings owned by loyal people, and departed before 
morning. 



26 THE LAST MAN 

Within two days thereafter, several regiments of 
Union troops arrived, took possession, burned sev- 
eral houses of disloyal people, and went into winter 
quarters at the town. The officers, for the most 
part, secured boarding with resident families, most 
of whom were of Southern proclivities. 

Lieutenant Boyd and his captain boarded with a 
Mrs. Lonj^ whose family, when all at home, con- 
sisted of the parents, two sons and a daughter. 
This family, like thousands of others in the border 
States, was divided. The father and elder son had 
joined the Confederate Army, and the younger son 
the Union Army. The mother, like any mother in 
similar conditions, had sympathy for both sides. 
The daughter was an out and out Southern girl. 
Nothing could daunt her, restrain her avowal of 
devotion to the Southern cause, or mitigate her 
dislike for the old Government and the old flag. 
And of all sights to her, the most disgusting was a 
blue uniform on a saucy looking Yankee. 

Beautiful as a vision, graceful as a fawn, and 
imperious as a goddess, her wealth of raven curls 
trembled, her full, sparkling eyes danced, and her 
lithe figure swayed vmder the dominating emotions 
of an active, restless soul. The personification of 
innocence, she knew no fear; the perfection of 
nature's handiwork, she was unaware of her beauty ; 
and willing and anxious even to assist, if she might, 
the cause of secession, she had no thought or sus- 
picion of danger to herself or her friends, excepting 
her mother, between whom and herself there existed 



PRELIMINARY ENGAGEMENTS 27 

a love as tender and self-sacrificing as that of Ruth 
and Naomi, and as potent and absorbing as the 
loves of angels ! No joy or sorrow, no pain or 
pleasure, came to one that was not cheerfully, 
joyfully, shared by the other. To the world they 
were merely mother and daughter; to each other 
they were lovers, one and inseparable. 

Mrs. Long was a lady by birth, by nature, and by 
education. The child of an ancient family of royal 
old Virginia, she had been sought in marriage by 
many choice young men, of wealth and high social 
standing; had rejected them all, and married her 
sweetheart, — for love and comparative poverty. 
But she had never regretted the step. More than 
twenty years of wedded life, if they had not given 
her wealth and social position, had brought her 
children, — her jewels. Now this cruel war was on, 
and the family was disrupted. Alena, the daughter, 
alone was left for her to look upon, care for, and 
love. 

In addition to Lieutenant Boyd and his captain, 
half a dozen or more other officers boarded with 
Mrs. Long, to whom they were uniformly kind and 
courteous. But frequently they would amuse them- 
selves by "stirring up" Miss Long, just to hear her 
talk of the Southern cause, and its ultimate success. 
In these wordy contests Lieutenant Boyd never 
took part, but secretly sympathized, not with the 
young woman's sentiments, but with herself. His 
was a noble soul. Youthful, but manly; modest, 
but firm ; and, though thoroughly devoted to his 



28 THE LAST MAN 

country and her service, he was yet chivalrous to 
woman, because of an innate sense, and because his 
mothers and sisters were women. 

With the intuition of her sex. Miss Long soon 
divined that the Heutenant, if he did not have a 
special interest in her, was at least moved by kindly 
feeling. At first she was shy of his regard, which 
she saw was his secret. It was now hers also. He 
made no advances. His eyes and smiles alone told 
their story ; and, cautiously, her eyes and smiles 
responded. And thus a species of comradery grew 
up and continued between them so long as the 
troops remained in quarters there. 

In the latter part of April, 1862, orders came to 
prepare for a forward movement. During these 
preparations it became known throughout the 
camp that an old-fashioned country dance was to 
take place the next night, at a house on the bank 
of the Ohio River, about a mile beyond the picket 
line. Many of the soldiers were seized with an 
insatiable desire to attend and take part in this, 
their last dance perhaps. 

Of all amusements among young people of many 
country places, the most fascinating is the free 
and easy, noisy, rustic dance. How to get a pass 
out of the camp was the difBcuIty. Once out of 
camp, the getting into camp again might take care 
of itself. At length, two men applied to their cap- 
tains for a "pass" to go out that evening to say 
"good-bye" to some relatives who lived about a 
mile down the river. The captain referred them to 



PRELIMINARY ENGAGEMENTS 29 

the colonel, who, without inquiry, gave them a pass. 
Presently other men came, by twos, threes, and 
even fours, to go out and see relatives who lived 
about a mile up the river, a mile back from the 
river, or across the river, until thirty or more men 
had gone out, when the colonel, surmising that 
something was afoot, said to the next squad that 
presented itself : "It seems to me that all you men 
have relatives hereabouts. Now, tell me the whole 
truth, or not a man of you shall go out." 

They told him all, and, on giving them passes, 
he ordered them to return to camp not later than 
ten o'clock, and to tell the men already there to 
come to camp by that hour. Of course, when ten 
o'clock came, not a man was back. Eleven, twelve 
o'clock came, but not one of the absentees had 
returned. 

The colonel had been deceived and was mad. He 
decided to punish the boys by giving them a scare 
which would return them to camp at "double quick," 
and would serve as a lesson for future emergencies. 
There was a gallant, daring Confederate trooper in 
command of a body of cavalry, or horsemen, armed, 
numbering from one to three hundred men, whose 
haunts were up toward the foot-hills, several miles 
distant, whose business was to harass the Union 
troops, and capture such of them as he might 
pounce upon when they least expected him. He 
was known to all the soldiers by the name of 
"Clawhammer," from the cut of his coat. A veri- 
table bugaboo to all the soldiers was he, and one 



30 THE LAST MAN 

of the nightly instructions to the men on picket 
duty was — "and look out for Clawhammer." 

The colonel stole to the quarters of Lieutenant 
Boyd, commanding the company (as the captain 
was sick), and wakened him ; ordered him to get 
out his company, equipped with guns and cartridge 
boxes, within ten minutes ; and to do all^this with- 
out speaking or permitting the men to speak, 
except in low whispers. The order was obeyed. 
The colonel and the lieutenant, followed by the 
company, then marched quietly out of camp, and, 
when a furlong or more distant, halted. The object 
of the movement was then explained. The house 
wherein the dance was in progress was to be sur- 
rounded on the south and western sides, while the 
northern side was bounded by the bank of the 
river, and the eastern side, the one looking up the 
river toward the camp, was to be left free for the 
truants to escape capture, if they so desired. 

When called upon to surrender, if they should 
be slow about it, the company, imder strict orders, 
were to fire their pieces, elevated, so that no one 
should be injured. On being satisfied that the men 
understood their duty perfectly, the company was 
marched to a point some two hundred yards dis- 
tant from the house, deployed as skirmishers, and 
thrown forward to within a hundred yards of the 
house, within which "all went merry as a marriage 
bell." The squeaking of a fiddle, the calling of the 
figures by the floor master, the stamping of feet, 
the movements of" the dancers, and the shouts and 



PRELIMINARY ENGAGEMENTS 31 

laughter of men and women presented a scene of 
the most rollicking, roysterous enjoyment and 
abandon. 

Now comes the man with a powerful bass voice, 
who had been coached to impersonate the Confed- 
erate night rider. He shouts : "Halt there ! Stop 
that noise and come out and surrender, 'Yanks,' 
and do it quick ! I'll give you another kind of a 
dance! You've invaded the Sunny South. You 
shall dance, away down in Dixie. You want to 
know who I am, eh? You've heard of 'Clawham- 
mer.' Well, he is here with lots of company. Ar'n't 
you coming out? Then take what you'll get! Bat- 
talion ! ready, aim, fire !" A widespread blaze, a 
deafening report, and then quickly came the order, 
"Fire at will ! fire !" Then ensued that patter of 
musketry with which every veteran is familiar. 
What occurred in the house? At the first fire the 
lights went out, and a ludicrous scene followed. 
Chairs and tables tumbled on the floor; men 
scrambled to get out, women shrieked, and prayers 
and oaths mingled as the place of exit was sought 
in the darkness. And still that awful voice without 
was shouting, "Don't take any prisoners !" 

At last the door in the end of the house toward 
the camp was found and flung wide open, and a 
seething mass of humanity, men, women and chil- 
dren, tumbled out pell-mell over each other. From 
out the mass darted a blue-coat, then another, then 
others, and sprang away at highest speed toward 
the camp. Some were coatless, some hatless, and 



32 THE LAST MAN 

others shoeless, but they all went, nor did they 
"stand upon the order of their going." 

The role of the Confederate trooper was finished, 
and was a complete success, emptying the house 
without an encore, or a request for repetition. The 
colonel narrowly escaped discipline by a court mar- 
tial for his "night attack" without orders from his 
superior officer; but one good result came of it — 
during all their marches, battles, and sieges for the 
next three years, no one of that regiment ever again 
took the risk of capture that had been taken by 
those fun-seeking fellows on that beautiful April 
night. 

The day came, the hour was at hand, when the 
camp would be left, and the troops gone. 

When the officers sat down at Mrs. Long's table 
to eat for the last time. Lieutenant Boyd found a 
tiny envelope beneath his plate. Deftly pocketing 
it, he hastily ate, and went to his quarters. Open- 
nig the envelope, he read : 

"I care nothing for these other officers, nor for 
your soldiers, but a friend hopes that you may get 
back again, unharmed. Alena." 

That was all, but the man placed the little scrap 
of paper in the most secret part of his pocket-book, 
and often, when far away, he would fish out of its 
hiding place the kindly little message, read and 
replace it, and ponder and imagine. Just before 
the troops moved he returned to Mrs. Long's to 



PRELIMINARY ENGAGEMENTS 33 

say "good-bye." She had gone out to some neigh- 
bors, and Alena was alone, except a servant. 

He said hurriedly, "We shall be off within an 
hour. Where is your mother?" The servant was 
sent to bring her. He timidly slipped a note into 
her hand which she quickly hid on her person. 
"Read it after we are gone," said he. Mrs. Long 
came, good-byes were said and handshakes given, 
and he was gone. 

Alena went to her room on some pretext, opened 
his note and read : 

"Miss Long: I thank you for your interest in 
me. I feel that we shall meet again. Till then, 
farewell! Boyd." 

i 

What a prediction ! When, where, and under 
the control of which of the fates should they ever 
again meet? She hid the paper, as a girl would, 
and never dared to mention it, even to her mother. 

Was she right? 



III. 

WAR IN EARNEST. 

The regiment of which Lieutenant Boyd's com- 
pany formed a part was attached to the Army of 
the Potomac, whose organization, equipment and 
personnel made it the most noted body that had 
ever trod the Western world. All it needed to 
become the pride and glory of the Government 
that had created it was to achieve victories, — fre- 
quent and decisive. The country was doomed to 
disappointment. The campaign on the peninsula, 
the seven days' battles before Richmond, the sec- 
ond battle at Bull Run, and that at Fredericksburg 
were all disastrous, and the engagements at Sharps- 
burg and Antietam were little better than drawn 
battles. 

About July first. Lieutenant Boyd was promoted 
to the captaincy of his company, the former cap- 
tain having died of fever contracted in the early 
summer. In this new and most important relation 
to the company he was the same brave, considerate 
man, and was the idol of his men. Into the battles 
of Sharpsburg and Antietam he fearlessly led them 
in charges, and, when all was over, devoted himself 
night and day to the care and treatment of his sick 
and wounded. Soon after, about October first, he 
received a telegram to come home with all speed, 



W/.R IN EARNEST 35 

to see his father die. A furlough for thirty days 
was granted, and he arrived at home just in time 
to be recognized by the dying parent. 

Remaining at home almost his full time, he gave 
himself to soothing and solacing his mother and 
sisters, and effecting arrangements for their com- 
fort and safety. Thus far he had escaped untouched 
in fierce battles, while many of his comrades in 
arms had "fought their last battle," and others had 
been maimed and injured, so that they were unfit- 
ted for further service at the front. 

All honor to these. Crown with laurel the brows 
of those who lost a limb, or were otherwise injured 
by deadly missiles in their first battle, perhaps, so 
that they could no longer take active part in the 
gigantic conflict. 

But the question has been asked, whether or not 
these are the real heroes of the war. 

What shall be said of those who stood up to be 
shot at in scores of hot engagements, and gave 
blow for blow; who suffered from cold, hunger, 
thirst, exposure, disease, and a hundred other unto- 
ward conditions, and, at the close of a long, faith- 
ful, victorious service, came home without a wound, 
but, in thousands of cases, were physical and, fre- 
quently, mental wrecks? These are the men who 
won the victories, and let a grateful country never 
forget to crown them also. Let equal and, in some 
cases, superior honors be shown to such as bore 
"Old Glory" to the summit of Lookout Mountain ; 
fought their way, foot by foot, through an entire 



36 THE LAST MAN ' , 

summer, to Atlanta, which they invested and cap- 
tured ; then, divided into two confident veteran 
bodies, one pushed boldly through Georgia to the 
sea, while the other, retracing its route of the pre- 
ceding months, fell back to Nashville and waited 
for, met, and annihilated the army of the gallant, 
impetuous Confederate General Hood. These are 
men, who, by their deeds of daring and valor, 
induced the white-winged Angel of Peace to return 
again to earth ; men whose grandparents wove and 
flung forth "the banner of beauty and glory," and 
these, their sons, received and defended it from the 
dust, and from dishonor. 

Having parted, sadly, it must be said, from 
mother and sisters. Captain Boyd boarded a 
steamer bound for Galliput, a Government post 
and rendezvous, at which point he would embark 
on another steamer plying between Galliput and 
Charlesport, on the Kanoche River, beyond which 
point his command then lay. 

Landing at Galliput, he went to a hotel, had sup- 
per, and then, as was his duty, reported to the 
officer in charge of the post, and returned to his 
hotel. Occupying a chair in front of the house, 
among guests and others, his ear soon caught por- 
tions of a heated conversation going on in a little 
knot of civilians. "All I have to say," growled 
one, "is that she ought to be hung-." "O no," said 
another; "she is a woman, and I take no stock in 
a man that would hang a woman." "Then you 
ought to be hung with her, as a sympathizer," said 



WAR IN EARNEST 37 

the first. "What has she done to deserve hanging?" 
aslced the second. Here a third man made answer, 
"She is a notorious rebel. They say she had a 
hand in planning that massacre of recruits at 
Gramercy last December; that she wrote letters 
which were smuggled to the Confederate force, 
telling them when, where, and how to make an 
attack ; and that she tried to poison a lot of officers 
who were boarding with her mother last winter." 
"How do you know she did these things? Who 
says she did?" asked the second. "If these things 
are true, why don't they try her on charges pre- 
ferred? Let the woman have a chance, I say." 

To all this talk Captain Boyd was keenly alive. 
Going to the hotel keeper, he asked what woman 
was a prisoner in the county jail, and from what 
place she came. The hotel man said her name 
was Long ; that she lived down at Gramercy, Va. ; 
that she was reported to be a Confederate spy. 

Strolling forth, Boyd directed his steps toward 
the jail, found the sheriff, and, after preliminary 
civilities, asked him, "Who is the woman from 
Gramercy, Va., that is in jail?" 

Said the sheriff, "Her name is Long." 

"When was she brought here?" 

"Looking at his register, the sheriff answered, 
"Twelve days ago." 

"Who brought her? Was there a guard?" 

"Yes; two soldiers." 

"Were there any other prisoners?" 

"Yes; two men." 



38 THE LAST MAN 

"Is the guard here?" 

"No, they left the next morning, with the wagon 
that brought the prisoners here." 

"What charges were preferred against the 
woman ?" 

"None, so far as I know." 

"Did you not receive a paper of some description, 
committing her to jail, and commanding you to 
keep her here in custody?" 

"None," said the sheriff. 

"Then why do you keep her locked up?" 

"That was the order given by the guard." 

"Can I see her?" asked the captain. 

"Who are you?" asked the sheriff. 

Boyd presented his card to the sheriff. 

"That will do; you may see her," said the sheriff. 

Leading the way, the sheriff thrust a key into a 
lock, opened the door, and, going in, lit a lamp in 
the room, said "Come in," and then retired to the 
door as the captain entered. 

It was a small, square room, with a low ceiling 
and but one window, and that grated. A cracked 
mirror, an old wash-stand, a three-legged stool, 
and a low, narrow cot in the corner were the fur- 
nishings. An old-time, much-worn oilcloth carpet 
bag was the only receptacle for clothing. 

On a stool, with her back toward the door, her 
head bent forward, and her face resting between 
the palms of her hands, sat the prisoner. Her 
radiant curls, quite disheveled, hung down, cover- 
ing the sides of her face. The captain spoke her 



WAR IN EARNEST 39 

name, "Miss Long!" Springing to her feet, and 
turning, she rushed toward him with outstretched, 
imploring hands, and in a voice of joy and sobs 
commingled, and tears springing in her eyes, she 
cried out: "Oh, Lieutenant, you here? You said 
we would meet again. Why have you come? 
Where are you from? I thought you and your 
soldiers were away down in old Virginia." Thus 
she ran on, half dazed, and not waiting for an 
answer to her questions, while her face, eyes, lips, 
attitude, and all else, made her for the time an 
emphasized, illuminated interrogation point. Seat- 
ing her on the stool, he told his entire story ; where 
he had been and what he had seen, done and suf- 
fered, from the time they said good-bye at her 
mother's house until he returned to Galliput and 
learned of her imprisonment. 

"Now tell me," said he, "of your mother and 
yourself, and how you came to get into this trou- 
ble." 

"O, it's so unpleasant to think of," said she, "that 
I dislike to tell it." 

"But let me insist," said he. "I want to know 
who is the author of such a foul proceeding," and 
his face and eyes betokened hottest anger. 

"Well," said she, "last month, as Colonel Jame- 
son's cavalry were returning to Virginia from their 
raid over into Ohio, they came in haste to Gra- 
mercy, and begged the people for something to eat, 
and feed for their horses. They were Confeder- 
ates, you know. We gave them all we had but a 



40 THE LAST MAN 

few handfuls of flour. Suddenly, while they were 
eating, the rattle of guns was heard at the edge of 
town, and our men left as fast as they could, for 
the Yankees were pursuing them. When the 
Yankee cavalry galloped into town, and found that 
the game had escaped, their commander, General 
Baxter, was furious, and swore that his men should 
stay until they had eaten the people out of house 
and home. An under officer, a sergeant, I believe, 
and ten men came to our house and asked us to 
feed them. Mother showed him our scanty pro- 
vision, and told him that was all we had left, and 
for him to search the house, if he thought she was 
not telling the truth. Mother looked so distressed 
that I stepped up and said, 'Please go away, and 
do not annoy us any more ; we are not keeping a 
hotel." 

"They went, but in a few minutes another set 
came to arrest me; they said it was by General 
Baxter's order. 'What have I done?' asked I. 
'Don't know,' said the man at their head, 'but we 
must obey orders.' They told me to be ready in 
ten minutes, to be taken away from town. Mother 
was crushed, and cried as I had never heard her 
cry before. She plead and prayed them, if they 
must punish me, so be it, but for her sake not to 
separate us. All in vain. The man told me the 
ten minutes would soon be up. and I must go. I 
told mother I would better go, for if we should 
resist they might burn the house or kill us. I 
seized that old carpet-bag, into which I had only 



WAR IN EARNEST 41 

time to thrust a few things, when the man took 
it up, and said, 'Come on.' Mother and I kissed 
and cried and embraced, till the man grasped my 
arm and said, 'Stop this, and come on, I say.' So 
I started without having time to change clothes, 
and came wearing this black calico dress, and that 
old black poke bonnet. Mother followed. They 
hurried me to the landing at the wharf, and ordered 
me and two men, whose hands were tied, to get 
into a skifT. Two of the soldiers with their guns 
and things got in, too, and ordered the boatman to 
row over to the Ohio shore. As we rowed away, 
the last thing I saw and heard was mother weep- 
ing and wringing her hands." Here Miss Long 
broke down and cried as if broken-hearted. 

After a time she continued : "When we reached 
the shore, one of the guards took possession of an 
open two-horse wagon, with its horses and driver, 
told us to get in, and then ordered the driver to 
head for Galliput, and drive fast enough to make 
the distance before morning. It was now dark, 
O what a horrible night that was ! I shall never 
forget it. The other prisoners and the two guards 
sat, or lay, in the body of the wagon, while I sat 
upon the seat by the driver, who kindly permitted 
me to do so. He drove fast, and at break of day 
we reached this town, and drove to this house — the 
common jail. 

"The guards aroused the jailer, and ordered him 
to take us and keep us safe under lock and key, until 



42 THE LAST MAN 

further orders. The sheriff asked them who sent 
us, and what for. They said it was by the order of 
General Baxter, at Gramercy, Va., but that they 
didn't know what we were arrested or sent there 
for. The sheriff, after thinking the matter over, 
told us to get out of the wagon, brought us intO' 
the jail, and put me into this room, and here I 
have been ever since." 

As the hour was now very late, and he wished 
some time for reflection, the captain called the 
sheriff, to whom he said : "I know this young 
woman and her mother, and am one of the of^cers 
that boarded at their house last winter. They are 
eminently respectable people, and this is a false 
imprisonment, without a charge or pretext, and 
without a trial or even a commitment. I vouch 
for her. You have my card." 

The sheriff read the card, and said, "Well, Cap- 
tain, I am glad you take the responsibility of order- 
ing her release. Will you have her removed to- 
night?" 

"No, I think not," said Captain Boyd. "It is 
very late, and I think. Miss Long, you had better 
stay here overnight, if you will." 

"O, yes," said she, "though I am so tired of this 
room." 

"Sheriff," said Boyd, "can't you give her a decent 
room for the night, and a good breakfast in the 
morning, at my expense?" 

"Certainly I can, and will." 



WAR IN EARNEST 43 

"Very well," said Boyd. "And you, Miss Long, 
try to have a good night's rest, and you will feel 
much better in the morning. I will be here about 
nine o'clock, and we will finish this business. Good 
night. Good night. Sheriff." 



IV. 

DELIVERANCE. 

As soon as the captain was gone, the sheriff 
brought his wife to Miss Long to assist in remov- 
ing her belongings to a room above stairs. The 
change was soon made, and Alena had a large, airy, 
well-furnished apartment. The good housewife 
was very kind, speaking of her sympathy for the 
girl, and her mother, and her sadness over the loss 
of fathers, husbands, and sons of her neighbors, 
until tears streamed down her kind, womanly face. 

When she retired, Alena was again alone, but not 
a prisoner. She was unable to sleep for hours. 
Deliverance had come, and in what a strange way. 
The face of her mother, sad, disconsolate, as she 
last saw it, was ever before her. One other face 
came before her, now and then — that of Captain 
Boyd. He must be one of God's noblemen, sent 
at times to earth to show to the world and to all 
men what they might be and ought to be. And 
she who, until a few months ago, had fairly hated 
Yankees, now secretly rendered her heart's homage 
to this member of the hated race. One thing she 
felt to be true — a man might be a Yankee and yet 
be an honorable, high-minded, courteous gentle- 
man. Why should he take such an interest in her, 
a poor little mite of humanity, without wealth, 



DELIVERANCE 45 

social position, or influence? Could it be? — oh, 
no — perish the thought — it could not be — that he 
was beginning to love her. No ; this kindness, this 
great service, was but the normal emanation of a 
noble soul. He would have done the same for any 
other woman, young or old, married or single. She 
slept at last, and her dreams were of her mother 
and the captain. 

She awoke late next morning, but much re- 
freshed, and full of hope and expectancy. When 
the daily steamer came down the Ohio, she would 
board it, and be at home in a few hours. But, 
alas ! she had not one poor penny with which to 
pay the passage money. She would go aboard the 
boat, though, and pledge payment when they 
reached Gramercy. The housewife came and led 
her down to breakfast — the first meal she had 
enjoyed for a fortnight. 

Then came Captain Boyd, and, by suggestion 
and kindly invitation, they went to the parlor, and 
the "business" of the preceding evening, as he 
called it, was resumed. 

'T hope you had a good night's rest, Miss Long." 

"Oh, yes, it was exquisite. Captain Boyd." 

"Did these folks treat you well?" 

"Yes, with the greatest of kindness, and sympa- 
thy for mother and me, which they could not show 
while I was a prisoner." 

"Well, you are free now. Miss Long; but if you 
will permit, I will stay about and see you safe on 
the steamer which is to carry you home. There 



46 THE LAST MAN 

is no telling what might happen if you were left to 
get to the boat alone. Such talk as I heard in 
front of the hotel last night, before I found you, 
assures me that some of those heroic fellows, who 
take precious good care to keep out of hearing of 
the music of flying bullets, are just the kind of fel- 
lows to give trouble to a defenseless young woman, 
if they should get such a thing into their heads." 

"Thanks, Captain, I shall be still more obliged 
to you, then, if you will assist me to get off. But 
please don't let my affair interfere with your duties." 

"Not at all. Your boat is due here at one 
o'clock, and mine doesn't leave until five. So I'll 
see you safe on your voyage." He ventured a 
remark which was not very sagacious : "I suppose 
you are quite anxious to get home." 

"O, Captain Boyd, how can you ask such a 
question? What sort of a girl would it be that 
would not be anxious to get home, under such cir- 
cumstances?" 

"And how do you think your mother will receive 
you?" said he. 

"As though I had been lost and was found. As 
though I had been dead and was suddenly restored 
to life. As though I had come back to her from 
heaven ! O, Captain, but few girls have mothers 
such as mine!" 

"You do love your mother as I never before saw 
a child do, and I honor you for it, with all my head 
and heart. And what do you and she propose to 
do when you are settled again?" 



DELIVERANCE 47 

"Really, I don't know," said Alena ; "furnish 
boarding, I suppose." 

"But there are no people at Gramercy now who 
require boarding. The soldiers are gone, the boat- 
men are gone, all are gone, except a few old men 
and young boys." 

"I don't know what we shall do then, if that is 
the case. O, did I tell vou, Captain, that father is 
dead?" 

"No, you hadn't mentioned it." 

"Yes, he died at Richmond, in July, of a wound 
received at a place called Fair Oaks, I think." 

"Ah, I was in that battle," said Boyd, "and a 
fierce one it was. And your brother, Bertrand, 
where is he?" 

"The last I heard of him he was in Brecken- 
ridge's division of General Lee's army. Why do 
you ask. Captain? Do you know anything?" As 
she said this she gave him a piercing, anxious look. 

"O, no; you recall that your father and Bertrand 
had joined the Confederate Army before we came 
to Gramercy, last fall, and I thought you might 
have heard from him since that time. Now, Miss 
Long, excuse me for an hour or more, while I go 
to the commandant of the post and arrange matters 
so that we can leave this afternoon. I shall return 
just after dinner; and, by the way, you must have 
dinner, too." Walking briskly to the room where 
the sheriff was, he spoke of the matter, and it was 
so arranged. 

Returning to the voungf woman, he told her of 



48 THE LAST MAN 

the arrangement, then reported at the office of the 
commandant, and procured a p£.ss for her. Then 
visiting a store, he bought a first-class lady's valise, 
and had it sent to the jail for Miss Alena Long, 
with the sheriff's family. After dinner at the hotel 
he went to his room, prepared a large envelope, 
put within it a valuable enclosure, and a short note, 
sealed, and thrust it into his breast pocket, and 
returned to the sheriff. The wife met him with a 
genial, but quizzical, smile, and Miss Long with a 
very subdued one. 

"Who is the present for, eh, Captain ?" asked the 
wife. 

"For Miss Long," said he. 

"O, Captain Boyd, please don't," said Miss Long. 
"The carpet-bag will do." 

"No indeed. Miss Long, it shall remain here a 
prisoner as long as the sheriff sees fit. Take the 
valise to your room and fill it, I command you !" 

Mutely, but hesitatingly, she obeyed, and while 
transferring things, the boat blew a signal of her 
approach, and the young woman came down to the 
parlor. Going to the sheriff, Boyd asked for her 
bill. 

"Nothing," said the sheriff; "I am very glad to 
show kindness to Miss Long, and that we bear no 
ill will against her. I'll have the valise carried to 
the boat. And, young woman, if you ever come 
this way again, you shall have better treatment." 

"Indeed shall you," chimed in the wife, and she 
folded her arms round Alena, and kissing her said. 



DELIVERANCE 49 

"That is for your mother," and again, "and that is 
for yourself." 

By this time the boat was rounding in at the 
landing, farewells were said, the servant took up 
the valise, and the captain and Miss Long followed 
and boarded the steamer. Seating her in the 
ladies' cabin, Boyd went to the purser's office, paid 
her fare to Gramercy, including supper and a state- 
room, and returned to her. "Now, Miss Long," 
said he, 'T think I have done all I can, except to 
give you this parcel, which I request you not to 
open till you reach home. Do you promise?" 

"Certainly, I promise. Captain Boyd." 

Passing the envelope to her, he suggested, "Go 
and lock it up in your valise, just now." 

She obeyed, and then said, "O, Captain Boyd, 
how can I ever thank yovi enough, much less pay 
you, for all your kindness?" 

She could say no more, but tears, not of sadness, 
but gratitude, sparkled in her eyes. 

"Say nothing about it," said he; "I have done 
nothing more than I could wish any true man to 
do for my sister, were she in trouble. That repays 
me. Give my best wishes to your mother, and be 
assured I remain her and your friend. Good-bye." 

As he walked forward toward the gangway, he 
turned for a moment and saw her going to her 
state-room. A look was in his eloquent eyes, of 
which he was unconscious, and which he would 
not have confessed to himself, even ; a look of pure 
and ineffable, but repressed, love. At five o'clock 
4 



50 THE LAST MAN 

he boarded the steamer for the Kanoche River and 
Charlesport. 

As the water in the Ohio River was very low, 
the steamer bearing Miss Long to Gramercy made 
slow progress, and did not reach the town till eight 
o'clock, and when she stepped ashore there were 
no people in waiting but the wharf-master and his 
assistant. Recognizing her, they came forward 
and spoke to her. "Miss Long, do you want your 
valise carried to the house?" asked the assistant. 

"Yes, please, but I have no money to pay for 
such service," she answered. 

"Never mind that," said he; "we are awful glad 
to see you back again safe. Heard you were going 
to be shot for a spy. And then we heard you were 
dead. O, mighty souls ! but your mother will be 
glad to see you. They say she's done nothin' but 
rock herself and cry, ever since you were tooken 
away, and some say as how she was mighty nigh 
crazy. And no wonder, the way they sarved you, 
and all because old Baxter was mad and drunk." 

Thus he chattered all the way to her mother's 
door. 

Alena rapped, the door opened, and mother and 
daughter w^ere face to face. With a loud cry, "O, 
daughter ! My heart's idol !" the mother clasped 
the girl in her hungry arms, and kisses and tears 
rained on each other's lips and cheeks. 

"Home again !" What a boon is it to the trav- 
eler after months of long, wearisome journeyings. 
"There's no place like home !" But how much 



DELIVERANCE 51 

greater the joy of a return to home and mother 
was that of Miss Long, from both of which a cruel 
fate had so suddenly snatched her! 

At length, becoming calmer, Alena gave a full 
account of her imprisonment and deliverance. As 
she related the acts of Captain Boyd the mother 
looked apprehensive, and the daughter, under- 
standing the look, said, "O, mother, pray don't 
misjudge him ! He is the grandest, most honor- 
able man I ever saw. We need never fear him. 
He has a widowed mother and two sisters, to 
whom he is enthusiastically devoted. He is a 
Yankee, it is true, and an officer — a captain now, 
and you know how I have hated Yankees ; but I 
now know he is a gentleman, a gallant knight, 
such as we read of, and I dare say a splendid soldier, 
even if he is against our cause. O, by the way, he 
gave me an envelope which I was not to open till I 
got home. Let me get it." Unlocking the valise, 
she drew forth the bulky packet, and, on opening 
it, there lay a quantity of bank notes, bright and 
crisp — a considerable sum. The sight paralyzed 
both tongues for some moments. 

Her mother said, "Alena, dear, tell me all ! All !" 

"O, mamma, don't look at me that way so 
cruelly! Wait till I read his note." Unfolding it, 
she read : 

"'Hotel, Galliput, O., 

October 20th, 1862. 

My Dear Mrs. Long: — Enclosed please find a small 
sum of money which I can loan you for a while, 



52 THE LAST MAN 

just as well as not. I wish it were larger. It may 
be of use to you, just now, as times are hard. And, 
Miss Long, I once predicted that we should meet 
again. We met. I now prophesy that we shall 
meet again. Till then, farewell, Boyd.' 

"There now, mother, you have a true illustration 
of the man. What do you think?" 

"Alena, dear, he loves you. Tell me whether he 
said or did or looked anything that showed special 
regard for you." 

"Nothing, mother ; not even the tiniest pressure 
of my hand when we parted. No, mamma, he 
respects and pities us — that is all." 



V. 

THE WRESTLING OF GIANTS. 

Captain Boyd's return to his company was sig- 
nalized by hearty hand grasps and expressions of 
gladness from every member, which to a man of 
his mold was of more value than the elaborate com- 
pliments of his fellow-officers. Who that was 
entrusted with the duties and cares of commandant 
of a company of soldiers did not realize keenly and 
sometimes painfully that perfect confidence on the 
part of the men in his courage, abihty, justice and 
kindness, is the one indispensable condition to his 
confidence in the company, enabling him, at all 
times, and under most crucial tests, to secure and 
enforce, not merely willing, but enthusiastic, com- 
pliance with orders and commands? 

Among many distinguished officers of all ranks, 
in both armies, one there was, who has answered 
to the last roll-call, in whom was exemplified, in 
the highest degree, that indefinable, but potent, 
influence over men, which every officer should 
strive to gain. By acts of kindness and considera- 
tion, and little courtesies, which an officer, even of 
high rank, may perform in the midst of his duties 
as a commander and disciplinarian, he so won the 
confidence and devotion of subordinates and men 
that, had he issued an order to march straight 



54 THE LAST MAN 

through the Confederacy to Charleston or Savan- 
nah, every officer and man would have sprung to 
his place with the liveliest enthusiasm, with the 
light of battle on his face, and determination to exe- 
cute the order or die in the attempt. All officers 
and men who had the honor to serve under that 
distinguished, intrepid officer will recognize in this 
description the late Major-General George Crook. 

Of a similar type must have been Generals Crom- 
well, Bonaparte, Wellington, Washington, Lee, and 
Stonewall Jackson. Such a man, and such an offi- 
cer, to a degree, was Captain Boyd. He felt, and 
determined, more than ever before, that, come what 
might, the proper care of his men should be second 
only to the cause of his country. 

In these respects what a contrast he presented to 
scores of officers, whose first care was of their own 
precious persons and interests, and their last 
thought was of men and country. Disguise it, 
ignore it, deny it, even, yet the truth remains that 
a larger per cent, of incompetency and recreancy 
prevailed among officers than among enlisted men ; 
and had the issue of the conflict depended on men 
as demoralized as were many officers, it may well 
be doubted whether victory had ever been achieved. 

In the winter of i862-'63, the command of which 
Captain Boyd's company was a part was quartered 
in the Valley of Virginia, at a town noted for its 
alternate occupancy, many times, by the forces of 
both armies, and for its final permanent posses- 
sion by the Union forces, late in the fall of 1864, 



THE V^RESTLING OF GIANTS 55 

after the destruction of the army of General Early. 
During this winter the men knew better than before 
how to render themselves comparatively comfort- 
able. When not on duty, in camp, on guard, or 
under training, their time was spent in writing let- 
ters to home folks, relating stories or gossip, sing- 
ing, and playing games. Bye and bye, tokens of 
coming spring were visible, and the great armies 
on both sides hastened their preparations for the 
year's campaigns. Novv^ and then small bodies of 
troops, mostly cavalry, made reconnoissances to- 
ward the lines of the enemy to ascertain his exact 
v.'hereabouts and his condition. Picket firing was 
frequent. Prisoners were brought in. Quarter- 
masters' and ordnance stores were replenished. 
Hospital supplies were overhauled and put in order. 
Men were clad anew, and both they and horses 
were freshly shod. 

The campaign began by a movement of the 
Union Army. The corps in the valley broke camp 
in April and marched to Washington, crossed the 
Potomac, and traversed the hills, valleys and 
streams of old Virginia till it reached and was 
made an integral part of the Army of the Potomac. 
About May first that great body arose, shook 
itself, put on its panoply, and moved straight at its 
enemy, fortified and waiting for it. Each army 
had tested the courage and powers of its opponent, 
and the marvelous skill of its commander, on sev- 
eral notable occasions, and the Union force had 
been obliged to show its back to the foe and retreat 



56 THE LAST MAN 

almost to the environs of the Capital. But now 
that its movements were to be directed by a gen- 
eral known by both armies, and by the world, as an 
eminent soldier and fighter, the country expected, 
and confidently looked for — victory. 

A military campaign — a battle, if not an acci- 
dent — is a great game played by two men, the 
commanders of the opposing forces. Neither com- 
mander, nor any one else, sees, or can see, all of a 
battle. The commanders issue orders ; subordi- 
nates carry the orders to officers in command of 
divisions, brigades and regiments ; and the men, 
commanded by these, execute the orders, perform 
the maneuvers, and do the marching, fighting, and 
charging, with which they are so occupied as to be 
unable to see only what is directly before them. If 
the maneuvers, the fighting, the irrepressible 
charge, or the sudden, unlooked-for attack upon 
the opponent's flank is successful, defeat, total or 
partial, is inevitable, and he is obliged either to 
retreat, thus losing the field, or reform his line in 
such manner that he may renew the battle. The 
flank movement, as it is called, was employed four 
times, at least, in a certain battle ; the contending 
forces revolving about each other until they had 
fought toward every point of the compass, and 
finally each force withdrew from the field, as if by 
mutual consent. 

Frequently, however, an army thus flanked has 
been disorganized, pursued, and almost, if not com- 
pletely, annihilated. The seven days' battle of 



THE WRESTLING OF GIANTS 57 

General McClellan in June, 1862 ; the second battle 
of Bull Run, in August, 1862; and of General Lee, 
in September, 1862, and July, 1863, are examples 
of successful retreat and re-formation of an army 
when defeated, or worsted. The campaign of Gen- 
eral Early, in October, 1864, and of General Hood, 
in December, 1864, are examples of the destruction 
of an army, pursued and disintegrated, after a lost 
battle. 

The battle of Chancellorsville, Va., was fought 
on May 5th and 6th, 1863, by the Confederate 
Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Gen- 
eral Lee, and the Union Army vmder General 
Joseph Hooker. The plan of each general showed 
consummate skill, and, as the action progressed, 
the advantage was clearly with General Hooker. 
But, late in the evening of May 6th, when the day's 
fighting was apparently over, and the Union force 
was disposing itself for a night's bivouac, suddenly 
a solid, resolute Confederate force struck it on its 
right flank, with the resistless might of a tornado. 
There was no withstanding its momentum. The 
attacking force was that of the redoubtable Stone- 
wall Jackson. The Union Army was thus beaten 
again, and retreated across the Rappahannock 
River toward Washington. 

Captain Boyd's company and regiment were a 
part of the corps which received the assault result- 
ing so disastrously. While exerting himself to the 
utmost, by voice, daring and example, to hold his 
company steady, to resist and stay the charge of 



58 THE LAST MAN 

the enemy, he suddenly felt a sharp but paralyzing 
sensation, fell helpless, and, his line being broken, 
the men retreated ; a moment later, the Confeder- 
ate force reached and passed him, and he was a 
prisoner. 

When the charge was done, his captors raised 
him upon his legs, and caused him to walk to the 
rear of their lines, when they relieved him of 
sword, belt and revolver. The firing was still in 
progress, but he knew by the distance and decrease 
of the volume of sound that his own army was still 
retreating. For the first time in his career hope 
fled from his heart. The racking pain from a 
wound in his right side, loss of blood, intense hun- 
ger and thirst and extreme fatigue wrought com- 
plete physical exhaustion. To be made a prisoner 
is bad ; to be wounded, and yet be rescued and 
cared for by one's friends is serious ; but to be both 
wounded and a prisoner is enough to beget deplor- 
able mental exhaustion. Such was his condition 
when, led to a rude field hospital, he was permitted 
to lie down and receive a drink of water from a 
canteen. 

As he lay there, indulging in his sad reveries, 
there arose, at some distance, a low, agonizing 
moan or cry, apparently from hundreds of lips, 
and Boyd forced himself to sit up, to ascertain the 
cause of this outcry. Presently he saw, coming 
through the darkness, a mass of men, in disorder, 
and in their midst the body of some one borne on a 
stretcher. The carriers halted and set their burden 



THE WRESTLING OF GIANTS 59 

down, within a few feet of him. There were two 
or more surgeons in charge, who dispersed the 
crowd so that the dying man might have plenty of 
fresh air. Just then, by the flickering light of a 
couple of torches, he saw, for the first and last time, 
the pallid face of General Jackson, who had been 
mortally wounded, just after his corps had com- 
pleted its savage and successful attack upon the 
Union force. Reverently, touchingly, with un- 
covered heads, his heartbroken men again moved 
on with the helpless body of the man who had been 
the most versatile, daring, competent, and success- 
ful of all Confederate commanders. His death, 
soon after, equaled the loss of thousands of men to 
the Confederates, and was a correspondingly great 
gain to the Union cause. The troops he had com- 
manded remained brave, it is true, but never again 
did they display the qualities for which, under him, 
they had been so widely distinguished. 

In addition to his ability as a soldier. General 
Jackson was noted for high qualities as a citizen 
and a Christian man. 

When the lives and deeds of men shall have been 
canvassed in Heaven's high court, and each shall 
receive his reward, "according to the deeds done in 
the body," who dare say that he will not sit down 
in the realm of eternal peace with Grant, Sherman, 
Lincoln, and Howard? 

After this touching episode had passed, a Con- 
federate hospital officer and two attendants, with 
a lantern, paper and pencil, came to the captain to 



60 THE LAST MAN 

register his name, rank, company, and regiment, 
and to take an inventory of his effects. When 
about to answer the first question, his sight failed, 
and unconsciousness ensued. He had fainted. 
What transpired thereafter, that night, and for 
several days and nights folloAving, Vv^as unknown to 
the poor suffering officer. Wound fever, and affec- 
tion of the nerve centers, brought on first a coma- 
tose state, then delirium, then raving. The hospital 
officer reported the case to the superior surgeon, 
who at once made an examination. A ball had 
struck and penetrated the captain's right side, just 
above the sword-belt, fractured two ribs, and was 
lodged somewhere in the cavity of the chest. To 
find the ball and the full extent of its damage, the 
surgeons were obliged to make a large transverse 
incision below the short ribs. This effected, the 
ball was found wedged between two ribs on the 
posterior side of the chest, and was extracted. It 
was also found that the liver, though not lacerated, 
had been somewhat impinged upon. The neces- 
sary measures were taken, appliances were adapted 
to the wound and the incision, and an attendant 
was left Vvuth the patient to carry out the instruc- 
tions. When the morning came, several wounded 
Confederate officers in the hospital were dead, and 
the preparations for their sepulture, together with 
the moanings of those still living, the odor of medi- 
cinal and surgical preparations, and the presence 
of villainous looking instruments lying about, con- 
spired to render the place a not unfitting supplement 



THE WRESTLING OF GIANTS 61 

to Dante's Inferno. From all of this the captain 
was mercifully spared, as he remained unconscious, 
contributing his share of the audible indications of 
pain and delirium prevailing on every side. 

The attendant and the surgeon in whose ward 
he lay failed to understand most of the sufferer's 
incoherent words and fragments of sentences. 

Only two expressions, often repeated, were 
understood: "Mother, don't worry!" and "Miss 
Long! Miss Long! Why do you suffer thus!" 



VI. 

IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY. 

One of the few features that mitigated the hor- 
rors of the war, aside from the services of the Sani- 
tary Commission and the Christian Commission, 
was the voluntary and heroic service of a number 
of noble women, some older, some younger, as 
army hospital nurses. It may be that, in some 
cases, these duties were assumed in order that the 
nurses might be near those they loved, who were 
in the saddle, or the ranks, so that should they be 
prostrated by wounds or diseases, they might 
receive superior care and nursing. But in most 
cases, the motive of these women was entirely 
unselfish, — a combination of patriotism and philan- 
thropy, — and their noble sacrifices shone as a bril- 
liant, self-supporting light, dispelling, in a degree, 
the gloom of fratricidal war. Of this honored class, 
the patron saint, if she may be so called, is, by 
common consent, Florence Nightingale, who with 
a corps of assistants gave herself to such a holy work 
during the Crimean War, in 1855- 56, and demon- 
strated, beyond question or cavil, the practicability, 
utility, and humanity of woman's work in hospitals. 
Perhaps the Red Cross Society, at whose head 
stands that noble woman, Clara Barton, is in part 
a result of Miss Nightingale's first endeavor. Who 



IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY 63 

knows but that, in the near future, such women as 
these may exert an influence potent enough to 
prevent war, or at least, to remove many of its 
horrors? However all this may be, there were 
from 1862 to the close of the war quite a number 
of women serving as nurses in hospitals in and 
near Washington and Alexandria, and with armies 
in the field. There were also women nurses in 
Confederate hospitals — women whose motive and 
heroism were the same as those of the Union 
nurses. 

On the second day after the battle several Con- 
federate women nurses from Richmond came to 
the field hospital for duty. With soft, quiet step, 
they moved from one sufiferer to another, minis- 
tering as occasion required, bathing the face and 
hands of one, combing the matted locks of another, 
feeding one who was permitted to eat, giving medi- 
cines to others, as directed, wTiting letters for those 
who could not write, and even holding instruments 
and anaesthetics for surgeons when operations were 
performed. By chance, it would seem, a young 
woman who was performing such functions entered 
the ward in which lay Captain Boyd. Reaching, in 
her progress, the cot of a wounded Confederate, 
she did him some kindness, and was about to move 
on, when, from a cot a few yards distant, a moan 
caught her ear and attention. Could it be — O, 
surely it could not be — he? She moved nearer. 
Heaven help him ! It was Captain Boyd — the 
Yankee officer! But so changed, so pale, and, 



64 THE LAST MAN 

withal unconscious and delirious ! The young 
woman was Miss Long! They had met again! 
He had predicted it ! But what a meeting ! She, 
when last they parted, was a happy girl delivered 
from prison and duress by him, the gallant, buoy- 
ant Union officer. Now he is a prisoner and suf- 
ferer, unconscious, and unable to help himself, and 
she can assist, if not deliver, him. Who can de- 
scribe the torrent of emotions by which she was 
moved at that moment? 

Loyalty to the South, and her pledge to support 
and promote its cause would lead her away from 
him to minister to suffering Confederates. Grati- 
tude, and another yet stronger sentiment, would 
draw her to him. Which will she do? Will she 
hesitate? Would you, right-minded young lady 
reader, hesitate? Your head might suggest, "Pass 
him by ! He is nothing but a hateful Yankee." 
But your heart would say, "What ! Pass Jiini by ? 
Never!" So was it with Miss Long. There was 
no debate in her mind, and no hesitation in her 
actions. A man's head may, and often does, rule 
him, or he thinks so ; a woman's heart rules her. 

"O woman! In our hours of ease. 
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please! 
Let pain or sorrow rack the brow, 
A ministering angel, thou!" 

She applies a wet towel to his face and hands, 
fans him, feels his quick fluttering pulse, places 
water to his parched lips, and finds and puts 
another pillow beneath his head. Those who saw 



IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY 65 

her thus engaged may have thought she was sur- 
prised to see a Yankee there ; or that his moanings, 
tossings, and ravings moved her to pity for him. 
Either of these things might arrest, or hold, for a 
few moments, the attention of a nurse who, so far 
as the other nurses and attendants knew, had never 
before seen a Union officer or soldier. But for her, 
far more important and touching considerations 
controlled both heart and hand. 

So long did she linger by the captain's cot, that 
the attention of all who were near was drawn to 
her; glances were exchanged, and whispered 
remarks were made as to her sudden and evident 
devotion to this prisoner, an enemy of hers and 
theirs. One of the nurses reported the matter to 
the surgeon whose duties brought him to that por- 
tion of the hospital, and, coming near, he asked 
her why she did not move on to relieve others — 
Confederates, in particular. On his face, and in 
his face, as he spoke, were distrust and appre- 
hension that something was wrong with her; 
either she was suffering from dementia, or she 
was a Union spy in disguise. His words and 
looks aroused her. With crimsoned cheeks, tear- 
dimmed eyes, and tremulous voice, but with 
intense, quiet energy, characteristic of her, she 
replied : "Doctor, this man is an enemy of the 
South, it is true; he is a Yankee officer; but I 
knew him at my old home in West Virginia, and, 
next to my mother, while living, he was the best 
friend I ever had, and the noblest man I ever 



66 THE LAST MAN 

knew. O, Doctor, please examine his case thor- 
oughly and tell me truly what his condition is, and 
I'll tell you all hereafter!" 

What a scene for a hospital, wherein all emotions 
are suppressed, and all expressions are cautious 
and subdued ! Moved by her words and tears, the 
surgeon examined the wound and its condition, 
the pulse, respiration and symptoms, and then, 
looking at her, as she stood some distance aside, in 
great agitation, ominously shook his head, and 
turned to depart. She rushed to him, and said, 
with hands clinched together : "O, Doctor, he 
must not die ! Let me do all I can, and, please, 
will you do all you can, to save his life?" 

The surgeon said "Yes" as an answer to both 
her requests, and directed the other nurses to "let 
Miss Long have her way, as it would all be over 
in a few hours at most." 

All that day, and the night following, she clung 
to that spot, devising and doing whatever she 
thought, or imagined, m^ight bring relief to the 
sufferer. And when morning dawned Captain 
Boyd still lived, though very weak and exhausted, 
and yet raving in delirium. The surgeon made 
his morning visit much earlier than usual, expect- 
ing to find nothing except a body, dead and cold ; 
but, instead, to his great surprise, the patient was 
alive, and the devoted nurse was still at her post, 
apparently fresh and vigorous. The surgeon 
directed her to go and rest for a few hours, and he 
would personally care for the patient in her absence. 



IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY 67 

Thus adjured, she reluctantly retired to a small 
dwelling house, at some distance, appropriated to 
the use of lady nurses, flung herself upon a rude 
couch, and ere long tired nature asserted her sway, 
and she slept for several hours, a troubled, dream- 
disturbed sleep. On waking a torrent of memories 
and emotions overwhelmed her. What if he had died 
while she slept? She could never forgive herself. 
Dressing hastily, and attended by the colored boy, 
without waiting for breakfast, she hastened to the 
hospital. As she entered, a number of nurses and 
attendants fixed upon her a steady and significant 
gaze. This she regarded, obviously, as an evil 
omen. But a nurse hastened to her, and said : "The 
Yankee is still alive, but he is very weak. I don't 
think he can live the day out." 

She answered not, but, pushing by, she was soon 
by the sufferer's side. He was still in a stupor, but 
had ceased raving. She repeated all those little, 
delicate offices so natural to a woman, and finished 
by giving him a small supply of stimulant and 
liquid nourishment, and very soon he fell into a 
sound natural sleep. Returning to her quarters, 
she tidied herself, had breakfast, and came again. 

She met the surgeon, who was waiting for her. 
"I have seen him," said he, "and am bound to say 
that all his symptoms are more favorable, and if 
the improvement continues for two days, he will 
recover." 

"Thanks for your opinion, Doctor, and may 
Heaven grant that your judgment shall be cor- 



68 THE LAST MAN 

rect ! And may I continue to wait on and nurse 
him?" 

"Yes," said he; "I have given orders to the hos- 
pital steward that you alone shall nurse him. I 
am curious to see how the case will terminate." 

"Tihank you again, Doctor, and be assured that 
nothing shall be wanting on my part to have the 
case terminate in his recovery. And whether he 
recovers or dies. Doctor, I shall owe it to you, to 
the hospital, to our cause, to him, and to myself, 
to tell you why I have seemed to act so singularly." 

Several days passed in this manner; the fever 
and delirium diminished, then ceased, and suddenly 
Boyd returned to consciousness. Looking about 
him, he motioned an attendant to come to him, 
and asked where he was, how long he had been 
there, and why, and how much longer he was 
likely to remain. The attendant readily answered 
all inquiries but the last, which he said the doctor 
alone could answer, if any one could. 

"Go, please, and tell one of them I want to see 
him." The attendant complied, and soon the sur- 
geon-in-chief came. 

"Doctor, I am glad to see you," said Boyd. "I 
dare say I have given you a deal of trouble since 
I came, but I assure you I am quite willing to end 
the trouble as soon as you will permit, and assist 
me to get away." 

"My dear sir," said the surgeon, "you must be 
in no hurry. You have just emerged from a fear- 
ful delirium, and have survived the shock and loss 



IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY 69 

of blood from your wound in a most remarkable 
manner, and I want you to recover fully before 
you leave us. You are not yet out of danger, and 
even now your pulse and temperature are rising 
rapidly, and you must cease talking for the remain- 
der of the day. To-morrow, if you continue toi 
improve, we will resume this conversation. For 
the present, be quiet, and sleep, if possible." 

The thinking and talking had worried Boyd, and 
in a few minutes he fell asleep. Miss Long, by 
advice of the surgeon, as well as from native shy- 
ness, kept out of the way the remainder of the 
day, and for a day or two later. But the next day 
Boyd was entirely sane, and was so much im- 
proved, in all respects, that the surgeon permitted 
him to reopen the conversation of the day pre- 
vious. 

"By the way. Captain, I have not been able to 
secure your name, regiment. State, and post-office 
address. Please favor me with these data." 

When this was done, Boyd said : "Now, Doctor, 
how long, think you, will it be until I shall be able 
to return to my regiment?" 

"Can't say as to that," replied the surgeon; "it 
may be a month, or even two months. We can't 
hurry nature. She will not be hurried. You will 
require much nursing and attention, and must 
acquire blood, tissue, and nerve power, before you 
will convalesce. You shall have the best that this 
hospital can furnish, which is all that we can do." 

Boyd asked how long tlie hospital would prob- 



70 THE LAST MAN 

ably remain there. The answer was that rumor 
had it that the hospital would soon be discontinued 
and the inmates carried by rail to hospitals at 
Richmond. 

"Has any arrangement been made between the 
two armies for an exchange of prisoners?" asked 
Boyd. 

"None, so far as I know," said the surgeon; 
"but I presume there will be an exchange before 
long. Your army needs more men, I think, and 
the men it needs are the men we do not want; 
and your army has some of our men as prisoners, 
that it doesn't want, and those are the men that 
we may need, before long, eh?" 

"That is a fair statement. Doctor, I am sure, but 
here I am, among strangers, without a fellow- 
ofificer or soldier to see and talk to. I fear I shall 
become lonely, and a burden to you." 

"By no means. Captain Boyd. I will arrange 
to-day, if possible, to put you into better quarters, 
and give you stimulating nourishment, so that all 
you will have to do is to get well enough to go tO' 
your people, when your chance comes. As to your 
becoming lonesome, I think I have in store for 
you something that will cure, or rather prevent, 
lonesomeness. We shall see." 

The surgeon smiled mysteriously, as he hinted 
at a prescription for such a complaint, and Boyd'S 
curiosity was excited and piqued by the doctor's 
reticence. 

That afternoon the captain was lifted from his 



IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY 71 

cot, placed on a stretcher, and borne some distance 
to more commodious quarters, where a score of 
wounded Confederate officers were lodged and 
treated. 

He was assigned a cot by himself, at some dis- 
tance from them. His furnishings and surround- 
ings were quite complete, tasteful, and almost 
elaborate. Evidently, artistic hands had been at 
work there. A small colored boy, the same one 
that had assisted Miss Long, was ordered to stay 
with and wait upon him. 

The fatigue induced by his removal, however 
carefully it had been conducted, was sufficient to 
put him asleep, in which condition he remained for 
several hours. 

While all these things were occurring, a pair of 
bright eyes wa.tched from a secure hiding place, and 
a woman's heart beat tumultuously. 



VII. 

CONVALESCENCE. 

The surgeon was in high spirits when he discov- 
ered, or surmised, that there was a Httle drama 
going on between two actors — the captain and 
Miss Long, Hastening to her, as soon as possible, 
he announced, with more animation than is con- 
sidered proper by medical men, that the captain 
had resumed proper mental functions and would 
completely recover health and strength in a brief 
period. A gleam of joy, which she strove in vain 
to suppress, lit up the young woman's face and 
eyes. "Now, tell me. Miss Long, will you not," 
said he, "when, where, and under what circum- 
stances, you became acquainted with the captain." 

In accordance with her promise, she gave a full 
and circumstantial account of the origin and prog- 
ress of their acquaintance, and of the captain's 
silent, but none the less pronounced sympathy for 
her mother and herself, but not for her views as to 
secession, whenever the other officers would nag and 
rate her and the South, for the attempted revolution. 
Then came the account of her arrest, transporta- 
tion, incarceration, and deliverance from prison, 
and her restoration to home and mother. "And, 
Doctor," added she, "when the boat was about to 
leave Galliput for my home he placed in my hand 



CONVALESCENCE 73 

a sealed envelope, shook my other hand, said 
'good bye,' and was gone, and I never saw him 
again until the second day after the battle, when 
his moaning caught my ear, over yonder in the 
hospital." 

"And what was in the envelope, Miss Long," 
said the doctor, "if you feel that you may tell? A 
genuine love-letter, I dare say." 

"No, not a love-letter, but something better," 
said she ; "ever so much better for us." 

"Ah, Miss Long, what could be better than a 
love-letter from such a nice fellow, except a pro- 
posal of marriage, eh?" 

"O, it was better than that, even," said she. "I 
may as well tell you, Doctor, that on opening the 
envelope, after reaching home, mother and I were 
surprised beyond measure to see several bank notes 
of high value, of the old Government's money, and 
on a little slip of paper, some words expressive of 
sympathy for us, and begging us to receive the 
money as a loan. At the close he said, 'take good 
care of your mother and yourself, until the war is 
over, and we may meet again !' " 

As she ended the account, a tide of emotion 
swept over her, and her tears fell like rain. The 
doctor's eyes were dewy, and his voice quavered, 
as he said : 

"Miss Long, yours is a thrilling experience, and 
this is a noble man, if he is a Yankee and an enemy. 
Now I comprehend why you have taken such an 



74 THE LAST MAN 

interest in him, and have made such exertions for 
his recovery." 

"But, Doctor, there is a burden on my mind that 
I cannot get rid of." 

"What is it, Miss Long?" 

"I want to repay the money before he leaves us." 

"Why should you repay it? It was a present. 
Miss Long." 

"Possibly it was. Doctor, but no lady accepts a 
present of such a kind, or of any kind, from a sin- 
gle gentleman, unless she is — is — " 

"Engaged to him, you mean. Miss Long," said 
the doctor, by way of assistance. 

"Certainly, Doctor," said she, in beautiful em- 
barrassment. 

"Ah, well," said the doctor, "you are as worthy 
as he, and I take ofif my hat to both of you, for 
this illustration of a noble ideal of human life, so 
seldom, if ever, realized. May I have the supreme 
pleasure of telling him you are here, and bringing 
you face to face again ?" 

"O, Doctor," said Alena, "I am afraid it would 
not be best, in such a place, and under such cir- 
cumstances." 

"Begging your pardon, Miss Long, permit me 
to say that this is the very place, and these the 
very conditions, under which you should meet 
again, and renew your acquaintance. Two such 
souls should not longer be sundered, and I beg 
that you will waive your scruples, and permit me 
to prepare him to meet you to-morrow." 



CONVALESCENCE 75 

Said she, "Doctor, suppose it was your daugh- 
ter, far from home, among strangers — an orphan — 
would you favor the thing you now propose?" 

"Most certamly I would. Miss Long, if the man 
in the case were such a man as Captain Boyd." 

"Then I consent, Doctor, as I want to speak to 
him and thank him." 

Going over to Boyd's quarters, the surgeon 
found him resting quietly, but wide awake, and 
apparently ruminating. 

"Hello, Captain; why don't you sleep, as you did 
some days since? What has come over you?" 

"Certainly not a spell from Morpheus, Doctor," 
said Boyd. "I cannot avoid thinking when I shaH 
get back to my command. That is what keeps me 
awake." 

"I am sorry I can't inform you on that subject, 
but while you are doomed to remain with us. Cap- 
tain, you shall be treated as a soldier and a gentle- 
man. By the way, I think you are getting lonely, 
and to-morrow I shall begin treating you for lone- 
someness," said the doctor ; and again that myste- 
rious smile pervaded his benign countenance. 

Next day, after a thorough examination of 
Boyd's now fast-healing wound, the doctor said, as 
though it was a mere passing thought, "Captain, 
did you ever know a Miss Long, oyer in West Vir- 
ginia?" 

Boyd roused at the question, and, looking sharp 
at the face of the questioner, said, slowly: "Yes, I 
knew a Miss Long and her mother at Gramercy 



76 THE LAST MAN 

West Virginia, in the winter of 1861-62. My 
regiment and other troops wintered there, and sev- 
eral officers, including myself, boarded with her 
mother for several weeks. Why, Doctor?" 

"Have you ever seen her since that winter?" 
asked the doctor. 

"Yes," repUed Boyd ; and then followed a brief 
account of her liberation from prison, from which, 
however, was omitted all reference to his kindness 
and gallantry to her. 

"Do you expect to see her and her mother 
again?" queried the doctor. 

"Yes, when I am exchanged and get a furlough 
to go and see my mother and sisters, I may visit 
the Longs, too." 

"But possibly you would not find them at their 
old home," suggested the doctor. 

"Where then?" asked Boyd, turning quickly 
toward the surgeon. "What do you know? Are 
they dead, or have they removed?" 

"No, my dear fellow; she is not dead, and will 
not be for many years, I hope. For a considera- 
tion, I could tell you where she is, at this moment." 

"Name the consideration, Doctor," said Boyd. 

"That you do not become excited when I tell 
you," said the doctor. 

"I promise. Doctor ; now tell me." 

"She is here ! Look toward the other side of 
your couch!" 

He looked. There stood Miss Long, motion- 
less, cheeks flushed, and eyes fixed on the ground. 



CONVALESCENCE 77 

"Miss Long!" 

"Captain Boyd !" Then hands joined in a firm, 
prolonged clasp. 

He spoke, "And you are here?" 

"Yes," said she, "and yon are here?" 

At this sally all three smiled. 

"Yes, I am here ; unwillingly, though. Miss 
Long. Is that your condition?" 

"No, I am here as a hospital nurse. I came over 
from Gramercy to Richmond in February, and 
have been doing hospital work there, until the next 
day after the battle here, when a half dozen of us 
nurses were sent up to assist in the cure of the 
wounded." 

"There, that is sufficient for this time," broke in 
the doctor. "I see my prescription is a good one. 
But your pulse .has gone up, Captain, and you must 
cease the treatment for to-day. To-morrow the 
dose may be repeated, Captain, eh?" 

"O, Captain Boyd," broke in Miss Long, "allow 
me to present you to our surgeon-in-chief. Dr. 
Culp." 

The men shook hands. "I have had Dr. Culp's 
hands on me often, but never more gently and 
pleasantly than now," said Boyd. 

"And who knows but that you may lay hands 
on me, some time?" said Dr. Culp. "But now, 
Miss Long, you are excused for the present ; and 
you. Captain, compose yourself, and sleep awhile." 

At the surgeon's visit next day, the subject now 
uppermost in Boyd's mind recurred — how, and 



78 THE LAST MAN 

why, Miss Long came to Richmond, and where 
was her mother? 

"She herself shall tell you that," said Dr. Gulp. 
"I will tell you, though, what she will not tell." 
• "What is that. Doctor?" asked Boyd. 

"That if it had not been for her constant care 
and nursing, night and day, for more than a week, 
during your fever and delirium, you would not 
now be above ground to hear me tell you this. 
Never before have I seen a recovery from so com- 
plete a case of collapse, nor have I ever seen before 
such devotion on the part of either physician or 
nurse, as hers has been. Ah, here she comes. 
Miss Long, the Captain wants to know why you 
became a nurse, and how you got to Richmond. 
Tell him, while I visit the other patients." 

"Now tell the story. Miss Long," said Boyd. 

Taking a seat some feet distant, she began. 
"When I reached home, after we parted at Galliput, 
I found mother looking so sad and wan that I was 
about to break out in weeping ; but, at sight of me, 
all that vanished in a moment. Then I told her 
what I had seen and suffered, and how you secured 
my release, and sent me home. And when I 
opened that envelope and found money, so much 
of it, we were speechless with apprehension. But 
when I read your note, we were relieved of suspi- 
cion as to your motives, Captain. And, just now, 
I want to thank you for your favor, and to say that, 
just as soon as possible, I will return the amount." 



CONVALESCENCE 79 

"Please don't speak of that now, Miss Long ; go 
on with your story." 

"Are you prepared for a sad story?" asked she. 

"Certainly, since I have asked you for it," said he. 

"Well, for a few days mamma seemed to be her- 
self again, but the blow she had received brought 
on 'sinking spells,' as the neighbors called them, 
which happened almost every day. The doctor 
called it 'heart failure,' due to intense excitement 
and worry about me, but said that she would soon 
recover. Still she grew worse, had attacks oftener, 
and became very pale and weak. One day, Decem- 
ber 29th, I ran over to Mrs. Cook's to have her 
come and see mamma, — she had a look so un- 
earthly, and far away, — and as we were coming, 
the servant came screaming, *0, come quick, Miss, 
Missus is dying, I believe.' We flew tO' mamma. 
She was dying. She motioned me with her head 
to come to her. I clasped her in my arms, and, 
kissing each other, she whispered : 'I am going, 
dear! Meet me up yonder.' Her eyes were fixed, 
as if looking at something beautiful that she had 
never seen before, and, — she was dead ! O my poor 
heart ! It seemed to be broken. I wanted to die, 
too. I could neither cry nor speak. I had nothing 
left to live for. Father dead ; brother George 
killed at the second battle of Bull Run ; brother 
Bertrand gone I know not where, and now, 
mother, — the dearest, sweetest, saintliest mother 
that ever a child had, — dead ! 

"How long I clung to her icy form, I know not. 



80 THE LAST MAN 

They took me away, put me into another room, 
and I knew no more until they came to take me to 
the funeral ! She lies in the little cemetery at Gra- 
mercy and my heart lies there too !" 

"Pray, don't let grief give a tinge to your whole 
life, Miss Long. All must die, sooner or later, 
and, under the ordinary course of nature, your 
mother would die before you. I have no doubt 
and you have no doubt, that she is happy." 

"Yes," said Alena, "if ever one was ready to go, 
it was mother." 

"And now, Miss Long, go on. What did you do 
next?" asked he. "I sat down to consider; I 
must do something. Just then, when I didn't 
know which way to turn, one of the neighbors got 
a letter from a friend in Richmond, saying that 
women were wanted for nurses, to assist in taking 
care of patients in hospitals in and about Rich- 
mond. We answered the letter, asking our friends 
to go to the authorities and secure me a place. 
In about a month, I got an answer, telling me to 
come on quickly. I sold some of our effects for 
a small sum which, with what was left of your loan 
to us, enabled me to get some heavy winter cloth- 
ing, and on February 15th, with nothing but that 
valise, an umbrella, and a few dollars, I bade fare- 
well to all, and set out for Richmond. In the one- 
horse dearborn of a fast friend of the family, and 
the South, we left at night so as not to be observed 
or followed; and after fifteen miles of hard travel, 
reached a friend's house at daybreak. Resting 



CONVALESCENCE 81 

there through the day, I was carried at night 
another stage, and lay by during the day. Thus I 
came, resting every day at the house of a stanch 
Southerner. It occupied fifteen nights to make the 
journey, and, in the gray of a bitterly cold morn- 
ing, we reached Staunton, Virginia, and for the 
first time I felt safe and breathed easy. Resting 
there for two days, I then came by rail to Rich- 
mond." 

"Were you never stopped by any one on your 
journey?" asked Boyd. 

"Only once, just beyond the top of the moun- 
tains. It was after midnight, I judge, when sud- 
denly, two men said 'halt,' and caught the horse 
by the bridle. They asked us who we were, and 
where we were going at that time of night. We 
were prepared for this. I told them we were from 
Kentucky, that the driver was our farm hand, and 
that I was on my way to join my husband, a Union 
officer, in a fort at the summit of the Allegheny 
Mountains. Then, lady, we must stop you. We 
are on the other side, and our orders are to stop 
everybody, and carry them to our headquarters, up 
yonder.' I felt sure they told the truth, and then 
I told them truly where I was from, where I was 
going, and for what purpose. But none the less, 
they said I must go to their camp. In about half an 
hour we reached an old cabin in a deep ravine, hid 
by overhanging pines. O, how lonely, and, as I 
thought, how dangerous ! Our captors waked the 
commander, who stirred the fire, made a light, 
6 



82 THE LAST MAN 

looked at and questioned us closely, until he was 
satisfied that we were true Southerners, when he 
said 'we might go vn. Cut wait a minute, lady; 
what would you do if the "Yanks" should gobble 
you?' 'Really I don't know,' said I. 'Hold on,' 
said he. Going into another apartment, he brought 
out a Yankee officer's coat, and giving it to me 
said, 'If they stop you, make a story to suit, and 
show them the coat, and they'll believe your story 
and let you go on. Good-bye, and good luck to you.' 
As we proceeded I wove a fine story, and had it in 
readiness should the occasion arise requiring its 
use. But, fortunately, no further detention hap- 
pened." 

Dr. Gulp had returned and heard that part of 
the story detailing her journey, and said : 

"Miss Long, nearly all seeming evils and mis- 
fortunes have their compensations. In the midst 
of hardships and dangers you found friends, tried 
and true; since your arrival you are in the midst 
of a multitude whose object is the same — independ- 
ence of the old Government, now oppressive and 
efifete (I beg pardon. Captain Boyd). If we suc- 
ceed, as I believe we shall (I beg pardon again, 
Captain), you will have an honorable record in its 
attainment, and a rich share in the advantages to 
follow." 



VIIL 
EXCHANGED. 

Dr. Gulp had taken such a hvely interest in Gap- 
tain Boyd and Miss Long that he had decided to 
have the prisoner and his belongings brought from 
the hospital to the headquarters, which occupied an 
old-fashioned Virginia house, vacated by its 
owner, who, with his family, had removed to Rich- 
mond. There were the surgeon, the hospital 
steward, and a colored man, his wife and their little 
son, whose business was to do the cooking and 
other work. The room next to Dr. Gulp's was put 
in order for Gaptain Boyd, who was carried thither 
the same day. There were chairs instead of 
campstools, and a dressing case with its mirror, and 
all the other equipments of a gentleman's chamber, 
and even a thermometer, to indicate the increment 
of sensible heat in those ardent summer days. 

The doctor had just congratulated the prisoner 
and himself on the improved conditions and sur- 
roundings, when the swish of feminine skirts was 
heard without, and the next moment. Miss Long 
stood at the open door. The doctor bade her 
enter, and, having seated her, said : 

"Miss Long, as you were a prisoner once, and Gap- 
tain Boyd released you, and as he is now the pris- 
oner, I appoint you his jailor, from this time forth, 



84 THE LAST MAN 

to have and to hold said prisoner; to see that he 
is kept safe ; that he behaves himself, and, espe- 
cially that you secure his complete release from 
loneliness, of which he has been complaining of 
late. For this purpose, you, as jailor, shall come 
here, every day, for one hour, to discharge this 
duty. Do you accept the office, and the duty 
named?" 

"Of course, I am subject to your orders. Doctor," 
said she. 

"And are you, the prisoner, willing to be con- 
trolled by this gentle jailor?" 

"Certainly, I am willing," assented Boyd; "such 
a jail, and such a jailor, would mitigate greatly the 
horrors of any one's captivity." 

All laughed heartily, and the doctor, either by 
accident or intent, went away, leaving them alone. 

The jailor seemed quite timid at first, but the 
prisoner soon set her at ease by his cheerful, cour- 
teous ways and words. Once more she spoke of 
his loan to her mother, and her consuming desire 
to pay it, at the earliest possible moment. 

"I have no note or other obligation against you," 
said Boyd. 

"Very true, and that is just the reason I mention 
the matter," said she. "I shall give you my note, 
with interest, dated October 20, 1862, and due and 
payable, — oh, when shall I say, Captain ?" 

"When this cruel war is over," said he. 

"But that would not be business-like," sug- 
gested she. 



EXCHANGED 85 

"And yet that is the way all your Confederate 
money is made payable," said he. 

"Well, if that is tiaie," responded she, "none the 
less, it is not the proper business method." 

"I'll tell you the best way. Miss Long. Just let 
it remain as a loan and give yourself no trouble 
about it. If I should die or be killed, before the 
war ends, I will not need the money. If you 
should die, you wouldn't need it, either." 

"If that is your wish, Captain, I will leave it so, 
as I think it harasses you to hear so much about it." 

"Agreed," said he. "Let us talk of something 
else. When am I going to get away from this 
place, jailor?" 

"Really, I don't know, prisoner, but I suspect 
that we shall all be removed soon. I heard Dr. 
Culp and a medical director from Richmond talk- 
ing yesterday about some great 'movement,' as 
they called it, which is to be made soon ; and the 
director told Dr. Culp to send the sick and 
wounded to their commands, just as soon, and as 
fast, as their health and condition would admit." 

"Did they say when, and tO' what point, or place, 
the movement w^as to be made?" asked Boyd, with 
the instinct of a soldier. 

"Ah, Captain, you are shrewd, I see; but even 
if I knew, I would not dare to tell any one, and 
least of all, to an officer who is opposed to us. But, 
in truth, Captain, I do not know." 

"Where do you think I will be sent before this 
movement begfins ?" asked he. 



86 THE LAST MAN 

"To Richmond, I suppose, with all the very sick, 
the badly wounded, and the hospital stores and 
nurses," she replied. 

"Then you will be there, too, and will not be a 
part of this movement," suggested he, with anxiety 
in his face and voice. 

''I can't say. Captain; we nurses are subject to 
orders, just as you and your army are." 

"And what are you going to do, Miss Long, 
when the war is over?" he asked. 

"I do not know, Captain, nor can I imagine." 

"Have you relations to whom you can go ?" 

"None, except an aunt on father's side, but there 
never seemed to be any love between mother and 
her, and, of course, she wouldn't care for me." 

"Where does she live?" pursued he. 

"In Richmond. Father died at her home." 

Boyd ruminated for several moments, then, ris- 
ing, and resting on an elbow, he said, with a 
tremor in his voice : 

"Miss Long, if there was not a war, in which 
you and I have espoused opposite sides of the great 
problem, now in process of solution by the sword, 
I would venture to speak of a matter. quite differ- 
ent from war, and far more pleasing to me, at least ; 
but, as matters stand, to speak of it would compro- 
mise both of us, since each has solemnly engaged 
to give his efiforts, and his life, if need be, for the 
promotion and success of that which he deems to 
be the right. Think this over, my little jailor, and 
tell me what you think, will you not?" 



EXCHANGED 87 

"But, Captain, what is it you would have me 
think over?" 

"Ah, Miss Long, — oh, how stiff and formal that 
ever-recurring 'Miss Long' sounds, — may I not 
call you Alena, hereafter, when we are alone?" 

"Yes, if it suits you better. 'Miss Long' does 
sound a little stately and conventional," answered 
she. 

"Well then, Alena, my dear friend, you surely 
know, by this time, that I have a preference for 
you. You must have felt that I entertained a 
higher regard than exists in mere friendship. At 
least I know it, and what I want to learn, before I 
leave, is w'hether it will be worth while for me to 
cherish the hope that 'in the sweet bye and bye' I 
may find you and tell you all I feel, and all I hope 
for. Think it over and tell me to-morrow, Alena, 
will you?" 

"I'll promise to think it over, Captain," consented 
she, her face and neck suffused with that tell-tale 
token of the birth of love in the heart of an inno- 
cent, pure woman. 

"Ah, here comes Dr. Culp," said Boyd. "Doc- 
tor, will you not let me try to walk a little ?" 

"No," said the doctor, "but I will do something 
better for you to-morrow. You couldn't walk yet. 
And how does your jailor succeed, eh?" asked he, 
with a broad, genial smile, and a twinkle in his eyes. 

"Perfectly," said Boyd. "The captivity is sweet, 
rather than galling." 

"I thought it would be so. Do you not feel bet- 



88 THE LAST MAN 

ter of that loneliness, Captain?" asked he, with 
mock gravity. 

"Yes, I confess I do, Doctor." 

Here Miss Long went out. 

"To-morrow," said the doctor, "I will get you 
up and seat you in that arm chair, and when she 
comes and sees you, just observe the expression 
that will be on her face. Captain, I cannot mis- 
take ; that young woman is in love with you." 

"Bah !" said Boyd, "I have never spoken a word 
about love to her, and do you think she would lead 
in such a matter?" 

"No, — not lead, — but her heart is no longer 
under control of her head, and I know it," said the 
doctor. 

"How do you know it. Doctor?" 

"By all that transpired before either of you came 
here, and, still more, by all that I have observed 
since you came." 

Next day, when she came, there sat Boyd, in a 
wide chair, dressed, and looking very bright and 
cheerful. A great joy, which she did not attempt 
to conceal, lit up her face, and all three smiled elo- 
quently. Boyd broke the silence : 

"Miss Long, this is a deal better than Galliput, 
when you had nothing to sit on but a three-legged 
stool." 

"And how glad I am that it is so," replied she; 
"but I regret that I cannot do for you what you 
did for me at Galliput, — set you at liberty." 

"Never mind that," put in Dr. Culp, as he took 



EXCHANGED 89 

his -hat and went out; "that will come of itself, and 
before long." 

"Now, my jailor," said Boyd, "tell me what you 
think of the subject I broached yesterday." 

Her words seemed to stick in her throat, but she 
managed to say : 

"I am not sure that I know what you meant, 
Captain, but I quite agree with you that, until the 
war ends, we can be and remain good friends only." 

"That is it exactly," said he ; "shake hands on it, 
my good friend and jailor." 

They joined hands in a prolonged fervent pres- 
sure, and there was an important compact made, 
even though it was not "signed, sealed, and deliv- 
ered in the presence of witnesses." 

Within the next week patients in the hospital 
diminished rapidly, most of them being sent to 
their commands, and some to the cemetery. Boyd 
had become able to walk ; the surgeon and the 
"jailor" came every day to see him ; and the "friend- 
ship," as the two called it, became a very different 
sentiment from that which animated Damon and 
Pythias. It was, as Dr. Culp saw, and as you, 
dear reader, see, a case of pure, unselfish, mutual, 
unspoken love ! 

O Love ! Born in Heaven, but domiciled on 
earth ever since Eden, and seeking — yea, finding — 
a lodging place in every honest, upright, human 
heart ! All such as seek thee are found and con- 
quered by thee ! These words are addressed to 
genuine, old-fashioned love, alone. 



90 THE LAST MAN 

Out upon that base counterfeit which many call 
love, but which is mere brute passion, such as the 
lower orders of animals experience, or that other 
still more reprehensible thing that prevails in 
courts, guilds of nobles, classes of aristocrats, and 
the over-wealthy and exclusive ! Scarcely less 
wicked and criminal is that custom in many coun- 
tries of making marriage a mere civil contract, or 
that other abomination called morganatic marriage. 
All these are counterfeits, more or less gross, and 
are the devil's own inventions, to deceive, cheat, 
and lead to shame, ignominy, and destruction, the 
sons and daughters of men. The words of Madam 
Roland, changed in one word are apposite : 

"O, Love, what crimes are committed in thy name!" 

An incident of thrilling interest happened on one 
of those sultry summer days which set the matter 
at rest as to Miss Long's state of feeling toward the 
captain, and was a revelation to all who saw it. A 
thunder-storm came driving up, with great fury, 
while she was making her daily visit to him. Sud- 
denly a blinding flash and a clap of thunder, loud 
and sharp as the report of a twelve-pound Parrott 
gun, dazed, and for a moment paralyzed, all in and 
about the building. A few moments later, smoke 
and a blaze showed that the house had been struck 
and set on fire, the whole length of the roof. Worse, 
still. Captain Boyd was unconscious, and when 
Dr. Culp and others came, they found the gallant 
little woman trying with might and main to pull 



EXCHANGED 91 

out of the house his couch with the still form upon 
it. Tears and terror were on her tace, and almost 
superhuman strength seemed to be exerted by her. 
Assistance was rendered, and soon all were out of 
the building. The surgical instruments, their cloth- 
ing, and a few other articles were saved, while all 
else and the house was consumed within half an 
hour. The couch and its burden were carried back 
to the hospital. The doctor and Miss Long went 
with those who bore the couch. All were 
thoroughly drenched by the torrents of rain which, 
in the captain's case, was the best possible treat- 
ment for an electric shock. In a few minutes he 
recovered consciousness, opened his eyes, as if from 
sleep, and was himself again. For the first time 
the young woman forgot her reserve, rushed to the 
couch, hid her face on his breast and burst into 
glad weeping, while he placed his arms about her 
in a strong, fond embrace. 

Two days later the hospital was discontinued, 
and the patients, materials, bag and baggage, were 
transported to Richmond. Captain Boyd was 
placed in the convalescent ward of an officer's hos- 
pital, and Miss Long, through Dr. Gulp's influence, 
was assigned to duty in that ward. The meetings 
thus continued, she coming, ostensibly, to write his 
letters. Soon a cartel for the exchange of prisoners 
was arranged, and Boyd, being now able to return 
to his own, was designated as one of the fortunate 
prisoners. On the morrow the prisoners were to 



92 THE LAST MAN 

be sent by steamer to White House Landing, 
where the exchange would be made. 

"Dr. Gulp," said Boyd, "should the fortunes of 
war ever throw 3-ou into our hands, send for me, 
that I may do something for you, to show my ap- 
preciation of your many kindnesses to me, while 
a poor wounded, demoralized prisoner in your 
hands! I can never forget my obligation to you!" 

"Many thanks. Captain," replied the doctor. "I 
have no wish to enjoy such an experience, and 
prefer, greatly, that your obligation, as you term 
it, should remain uncanceled. But, if such a thing 
as you have hinted at should happen, I may avail 
myself of your kind ofifer. But pray don't feel 
oppressed by the weight of your obligation. Cap- 
tain." 

"By the way, Doctor, do you know w4iere are my 
sword, belt, and revolver?" asked Boyd. 

"I really do not know% Captain. Who relieved 
you of them ?" 

"I do not know," replied Boyd. "I was not in 
condition to observe anything at the time. Do you 
not have a schedule of articles taken from captured 
ofificers ?" 

"Yes," answered Dr. Culp, "I will go at once and 
search." 

Search was made, and the doctor was obliged 
to say that he had no record of the articles, and did 
not know anything concerning them. Miss Long 
became aware of the loss, and was disturbed by it; 
not on account of the value of the articles, nor be- 



EXCHANGED 93 

cause they belonged to Captain Boyd ; but because 
of the inherent meanness of the theft. She de- 
clared that they should be found, if she had to 
search for them all over the Southern Confederacy. 

Next day the expected steamer rounded up at 
Richmond ; a long double line of Union soldiers 
and officers marched to the landing, under guard; 
and a little way off stood Miss Long and a few 
other women to see the prisoners embark. Bitter, 
unfeeling remarks were made by some of the wo- 
men, but not a syllable did she utter. Her heart 
was too full for words, and her uppermost thought 
was — "shall we meet again?" With eyes fixed 
upon Boyd, between whom and herself glances 
were frequently exchanged, she was painfully aware 
that the vessel was to receive and bear away the 
one person in "the wide, wide world," for whom she 
felt a deathless interest, and the keenest apprehen- 
sion. Now the steamer hauls in her cables, her 
wheels revolve, her prow turns down stream, and 
she is away. Two kerchiefs wave ; one on the 
steamer, the other on the beach ! 

Miss Long resumed her duties in the hospital. 
Boyd and his comrades arrived, and were ex- 
changed, at White House Landing, and twenty- 
four hours later he was in Washington. Having 
reported to the proper authorities, he was granted 
a sixty-day furlough. While in the Capital he ar- 
rayed himself in a new suit, sword, belt, sash, and 
revolver; then paid his respects to the President, 
and that grim but faithful Secretary of War, and 



94 THE LAST MAN 

revealed all he had seen and heard relative to a 
prospective movement by the Confederate Army. 
The Secretary and his trusted assistants were not 
well advised, nor apprehensive of the movement, 
which was even then in progress, until too late to 
relieve or reinforce the corps of Union troops which 
occupied Winchester, and which, after waiting for 
orders or relief until it was surrounded, cut its way 
out, with a loss of one-third of its force, under the 
command of that heroic old soldier. General Milroy. 
Then began the movement to meet the Confeder- 
ates, resulting in the battle of Gettysburg. 



IX. 

PROMOTION. 

It has been said that "the battle of Gettysburg 
fought itself." Thus much, at least, is thought to 
be true ; it was fought on ground that neither of 
the opposing generals had chosen, or would have 
chosen. There were disadvantages on both sides. 
When the combat came on, it was, to a great ex- 
tent, the result of conditions over which neither 
army had control. Had either general attempted, 
just before the engagement, to change his position 
or alignment, such change would have been the 
signal for attack by the opposing force, with im- 
minent danger of overwhelming defeat, a disaster 
whose magnitude and sequences can only be im- 
agined. Two skilful, powerful pugilists, with fists 
up, stand face to face, on the alert to seize upon 
some advantage of position, or some accident, or 
error of an opponent. Some slight circumstance, 
unlooked for, draws the first blow, and the fight is 
on. So was it at Gettysburg. 

Captain Boyd, anxious to see a battle — which 
one cannot see, if he be a participant — ofifered his 
services as an aide-de-camp to the commanding 
ofBcer, General Meade, which were accepted, and 
a horse, trappings, and field glass were furnished 
him. From the first shock of battle to the close 



96 THE LAST MAN 

of the three days' fighting he devoted his attention 
to the various movements and counter movements 
of the two armies, reporting the same to his chief. 
The doings of those days can never be forgotten, 
and perhaps never described. Never, at least, until 
another Victor Hugo is born, to perform the task, 
with a pen of inspiration such as the elder Hugo 
wielded in his description of Waterloo. 

On the third day, when that grand charge of 
General Pickett failed, the Confederate Army did 
just what it ought to do, because it was all it could 
do, retreated. The Union Army had done the same 
thing at Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellors- 
ville, and the seven days' battles before Richmond. 
The substantial difference between these engage- 
ments and Gettysburg was that this was the high- 
water mark of Confederate hopes, efforts, and 
valor. Never thereafter did they succeed in push- 
ing into the North any considerable force with a 
reasonable prospect of success ; and ever there- 
after were their hands and heads kept busy with 
devices and efforts to defend their own section 
against the constantly increasing and successful 
attacks and inroads of the Government soldiery. 
Scarcely had the echoes of the guns at Gettysburg 
ceased, when tidings of the surrender of Vicksburg 
came, to further discourage the Confederates, and 
invigorate the armies of the Union. 

Captain Boyd's furlough having expired, and his 
health being completely restored, he rejoined the 
command, then resting near Fredericksburg, Vir- 



PROMOTION 97 

ginia. A royal welcome was tendered him by his 
company. Scarcely had their congratulations 
ceased, when an orderly rode up and delivered a 
package to him. On opening it he found within a 
commission as Major of the regiment, "for gal- 
lantry at Chancellorsville," so read the document. 
Soon after, on September 19th and 20th, the fierce 
battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, was fought, and 
a strong detachment from the Army of the Poto- 
mac was sent by rail and river to assist in a grand 
movement about to be made in that section, and 
Major Boyd's regiment and brigade formed a part 
of the detachment. The movement culminated in 
the celebrated battle above the clouds, at Lookout 
Mountain, and the raising of the siege at Knox- 
ville, Tennessee. 

The movement completed, the detachment was 
transported back to its place in the Army of the 
Potomac. The colonel of Boyd's regiment was 
now permanently detached for staff duty with a 
major-general ; the lieutenant-colonel was made 
colonel, and Major Boyd w^as advanced to the 
lieutenant-colonelcy. 

The winter of 1863- 64 was the severest of the 
war, and but few important steps were made in the 
field by either of the opposing armies, but, instead, 
winter quarters were sought, or built, and occupied 
without murmur or discontent. The Government 
and the Confederates were not idle, however. Great 
preparations were made by both for the gigantic 
struggle that all saw was tO' come, when birds 



98 THE LAST MAN 

should sing, and flowers bloom again. The forces 
on both sides were greatly augmented by enlist- 
ments and drafts into the Union armies, and con- 
scriptions and impressments intO' the armies of the 
Confederates. The plan of the campaign by the 
Union force was arranged by General Grant, and 
his next in rank and command. General Sherman. 
On May ist, 1864, the two great armies of the 
Potomac, and of Tennessee, left their winter quar- 
ters, moved forward and struck the enemy in front, 
and for many weeks not a day passed that did not 
witness a greater or less engagement. The Union 
armies pushed the fighting. It was their plain 
duty, and the only road to ultimate victory. And 
thus, not until Petersburg and Richmond had been 
invested and besieged by the Army of the Potomac, 
and Atlanta, Georgia, had capitulated to General 
Sherman, was there pause or cessation of hostile 
demonstrations. 

After the fall of Atlanta, there was projected and 
set on foot that most wonderful of modern cam- 
paigns of its kind — "Sherman's march to the sea." 
Nothing in modern times has approached, much 
less, surpassed it. It will be recorded in the tomes 
of history forever, and be assigned a place beside 
the march of Alexander the Great in India ; of the 
crossing of the Hellespont by Xerxes, and Napo- 
leon's passage over the Alps. Reaching the sea, 
at Savannah, on or about Christmas, 1864, the foot- 
sore veterans spent a period in rest, renewal of 
clothing and equipments, and preparations for one 



PROMOTION 99 

more, and, as it proved, their last, campaign. This 
began in February, 1865, by a bold movement 
northward through the Carolinas. Onward, for- 
ward, the triumphant body moves, conscious of its 
power, and confident of the unlimited ability of its 
peerless leader ! Now it fords a swollen river ; now 
clambers up and over hills and other impediments ; 
and now captures a city or town, lying in its path, — 
harassed, worried, opposed, by its enemy, in front, 
or flank, or rear, but never, save once, seriously 
impeded or endangered in its progress, until its 
formidable opponent, commanded by Confederate 
General Johnston, was brought to bay and sur- 
rendered. 

During the campaign of the Army of the Poto- 
mac from the "Wilderness" to the environs of 
Richmond and Petersburg, heroic deeds and spec- 
tacles were of almost daily occurrence ; reconnois- 
sances in force, flank movements, battles, charges, 
reprisals, and all the other thrilling, because un- 
locked for, accidents and incidents of war on the 
grandest scale. One result of such a campaign 
was the capture by both armies of prisoners, in 
squads, companies, and even entire regiments. 
These were sent away, to be held by the captors 
until exchanged. After the battles of the "Wilder- 
ness," Spottsylvania, and Cold Harbor, a body of 
Confederate prisoners, as large as a full brigade, 
comprising all ranks of ofificers as well as privates, 
was to be guarded and marched to White House 
Landing, there to be shipped to some military 



100 THE LAST MAN 

prison in the North; and it fell to Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Boyd's regiment to perform this duty, and to 
deliver the prisoners to the provost guard at that 
place. The march was made without incident ; but 
all that long day a stripling in the ranks of prisoners 
had been closely observing the lieutenant-colonel, 
whose name he had accidentally heard, and had de- 
cided to seek an interview, when the march should 
be ended. After the prisoners had been delivered 
to the provost guard, and were corraled safely, one 
of the guards addressed the colonel, saying, that 
a prisoner within the guard line desired to speak 
with him. Passing into the enclosure he saw ap- 
proaching a tall, slim, gaunt youth, who saluted in 
true soldierly style, and stood at "attention." 

"Is it you that wishes to speak to me?" inquired 
Colonel Boyd. 

"It is," said the youth. 

"Are you not Colonel Boyd, commanding the 
regiment that brought us here to-day?" 

"I am," said the colonel ; "what do you wish of 
me?" 

"I am Bertrand A. Long, of Breckenridge's 
Division, Jackson's Corps." 

"Did you say 'Bertrand A. Long?'" inquired 
Boyd. 

"Yes," said he. 

"Where was your home before you enlisted?" 

"At Gramercy, West Virginia," said Long. 

"Is your family still there?" pursued Boyd. 

^'No," said Long, "they are all gone. Father and 



PROMOTION 101 

mother are both dead, brother died in prison at 
Andersonville, and my sister and I are the only 
ones left. She is a hospital nurse at Richmond, 
and here I am." As he concluded his eyes and 
voice were full of tears. 

"What is your sister's given name?" inquired 
Boyd. 

"Alena," said the youth. 

"Have you ever been to Gramercy since you en- 
listed?" asked Boyd. 

"Never, and perhaps I will never see it again. 
When the war ends, and the South is independent, 
I will hunt up sister, and we will go to Richmond 
or W^ashington to live — if we capture Washing- 
ton." 

"Poor fellow!" said the colonel; "the South will 
never be independent, as you hope, and your peo- 
ple will never capture Washington. Look at these 
comrades of yours. There is a squad of men, none 
of whom is less than fifty years old, and yonder is 
a bevy of boys whose average age is not more than 
fifteen years. Your available forces are now all in 
the field, while the Government has yet a million 
of robust men to draw upon. No, young man, the 
beautiful, but wilful South will have to submit 
within a year." 

"Well," said the young fellow, "I have been in 
twenty-three big fights and never got a scratch, 
and I don't believe the Yankee bullet or shell has 
ever been molded or cast that will hurt Bertrand 
Long." 



102 THE LAST MAN 

"Stop," said the colonel; "you are too good a 
soldier, and have seen too much, to talk so. You 
know that nothing is more uncertain than life in 
war time. You are safe now, and will be, till next 
spring, perhaps, when you will be exchanged and 
rejoin your command, and you and I may be killed 
in our last battle." 

"That is true," said Long; "I take that back. I 
am mighty glad, Colonel, that you gave me a 
chance to speak to you. And if I ever see Sis 
again, and you ever see her, tell her that Bertrand 
died in defense of what she and I thought was 
right. Poor Sister! what will become of her, if I 
am killed." 

As he ceased from sheer emotion, Boyd said : 

"Well, Bertrand, I must return to my regiment. 
I hope we shall meet again." 

The men shook hands, and said "farewell," and 
the colonel turned to depart. He had gone but a 
few steps, when suddenly, from amid the crowd of 
prisoners, there sprang at him a wild-eyed man, 
flourishing aloft a villainous-looking knife, and 
crying, "Kill the Yankee ! Kill all Yankees !" 
Quicker than thought young Long darted into 
space, intercepted the would-be assassin, and dealt 
him a terrific blow which felled him in an uncon- 
scious, quivering condition. Guards rushed to the 
spot, and secured and carried the man to the guard 
house. Boyd was overcome with gratitude to his 
preserver. Rushing to young Long, and grasping 
both hands, he poured forth thanks in unmeasured 



PROMOTION 103 

terms, and proffered any and all assistance he 
might be in condition to render, should they ever 
meet, after the war should end. He finished by 
thrusting into Long's hand, as they said "good- 
bye" again, a wad of brown paper, which the young 
man secreted in his bosom. The incident, from be- 
ginning to end, was so unusual and so dramatic 
that it brought to the spot all the prisoners, and 
many of the Union soldiers and guards whose duty 
was at that point. 

In the long captivity that followed, young Long, 
tiring often of prison fare — though good of its 
kind — would at times send out and buy other 
articles of food, with portions of the money which 
he found rolled up in that wad of brown paper. He 
was the envy of all his mess, and was often twitted 
by them with the charge of waning fidelity to the 
cause of the South. As the spring of 1865 ap- 
proached, he and his fellow prisoners were trans- 
ported back to Virginia, were exchanged, and re- 
joined their comrades in arms, to endure again the 
hard, sad lot of the common soldier. The Army 
of the Potomac opened the campaign by a charge 
all along the enemy's lines from Richmond to 
Petersburg, because it was now strong enough to 
do so. The Confederate Army was not strong 
enough to repel the charge. On April 3d, Rich- 
mond was evacuated, and soon after their entire 
line of works was abandoned, and then began the 
last march, a retreat, which ended in the surrender 
at Appomattox. The news of the surrender reached 



104 THE LAST MAN 

the armies of Sherman and Johnston in North 
CaroHna, and in a few days Johnston surrendered 
to Sherman, and the greatest war of modern times 
was ended. Before the beginning of this last, 
shortest, and sharpest campaign, Boyd was again 
promoted — this time to the colonelcy of the regi- 
ment. 

Now began preparations to muster out, and 
transport to their homes, these vast armies. An 
order from General Grant directed General Sher- 
man to move his army to Washington. A similar 
order was sent to General Meade, commanding the 
Army of the Potomac. The armies moved by easy 
stages, and in the latter part of May reached and 
camped on Arlington Heights, overlooking the 
Capital, Vv^hich most of them had never before seen, 
but in whose defense and protection they had been 
fighting for four long years. Colonel Boyd gazed 
upon the city with more than ordinary emotion. It 
was the seat of Government ; the repository of the 
archives of his country ; and the place whence ema- 
nated all laws and edicts for the Government and 
of a great and once more united and unified nation. 
Thrice had he seen the Capital in dire danger of 
capture by those who had once sworn to protect it ; 
thrice had he seen a beaten, demoralized army 
driven into the defenses of the city, while, with pain 
and indignation, he saw on hundreds of faces of 
residents a gleam of fiendish gratification, over the 
mishaps and defeats of the army organized and 
operating for its defense. All that was over, now. 



PROMOTION . 105 

and the Capital, the Government, and the Nation 
were safe. 

A grand parade and review of the two united 
armies was arranged. Great preparations were 
made. Flags and decorations were every\vhere. 
The city put on her gala attire, for her knights 
were coming. On the western front of the Capitol 
was displayed an immense placard upon which was 
printed in letters so large as to be read at the base 
of Capitol Hill, the sentiment : "Hail and welcome 
to the Nation's victorious defenders ! There is 
nothing too good or too great for the Nation to 
'Grant' them !" 

The review consumed two flill days. Never be- 
fore was there such a spectacle in the new world, 
and never again, perhaps, will there be occasion for 
a similar spectacle. Tliat grand thoroughfare, 
Pennsylvania Avenue, the scene of so many dis- 
plays, military and civic, shook beneath the rumble 
of artillery wheels, the hoofs of cavalry horses, and 
the "tramp, tramp, tramp" of infantry. Blasts of 
bugles, notes of bands, and noise of drums fur- 
nished a fitting accompaniment to such an exhibi- 
tion. 

Had that powerful aggregation of soldiers taken 
it into their heads, at this moment, they could have 
captured the Capital, displaced the President, and 
established a military government, or a monarclhy. 
Such things have been done. The act would have 
been no more heinous than that which they had 
just suppressed and punished. But, in the same 



106 THE LAST MAN 

sublime spirit of patriotism which had led them to 
forsake home, happiness and business, that the 
nation's life might be preserved, they now returned 
to their homes. Not a single outbreak or accident 
occurred to mar or disgrace this wonderful disinte- 
gration of a great, victorious, veteran army. 

Just before Colonel Boyd and his regiment took 
cars for home he did a fitting and graceful little 
act which caused him to be held in everlasting 
remembrance by at least one individual. His ser- 
vant Sam, who had been with him from 1862, and 
had ever been faithful and trustworthy, was greatly 
grieved that the relation between them was ended. 
Presenting himself, he said : 

"And now, Cunnel, what is poor Sam to do? 
You'se gwine away to your home, and I has no 
home, no kin, and nuffin to do." 

"How much money have you, Sam?" asked 
Boyd. 

"Dunno, Cunnel ; you knows. It's all in with 
yourn. Seems to me its somewhar nigh unto five 
or six hundred dollars." 

The colonel examined his bank account, and 
announced the amount of Sam's deposit ; went with 
him to the bank ; drew out the money, and had him 
open an account. He called the cashier and tellers, 
related Sam's history, and requested them to scan 
him closely, in order to identify him thereafter. 
Then taking Sam aside, he said : 

"Now, Sam, go out to the lands in the north- 
west part of the city, not far from the President's 



PROMOTION 107 

house, and buy as many acres as you can, and hold 
it, paying the taxes as they fall due, and wait. The 
land will become valuable and you will make 
money." 

Sam did as directed, and, in subsequent years, he 
disposed of city lots at almost fabulous prices, 
securing thereby a considerable fortune. 



X. 

COGITATIONS. 

When his last duty to the noble men who had 
served with and under him had been performed, 
and they had gone, Colonel Boyd hastened home 
to his anxious mother and sisters. Joy, gladness, 
and happiness came with him. Veterans on both 
sides, and their dear ones, will understand this, and 
no words, spoken or written, could enable the 
younger generation to appreciate that precious 
home-coming. Sweet home words, congratula- 
tions, and kindnesses occupied the time for days. 
But with these, there arose thoughts as to his 
future career — whether to return to college and 
complete a course of study, and adopt a profession, 
or engage in business of some kind, and settle down 
as a private citizen. 

But, above all, and dominating all other thoughts, 
plans, and fancies, was one which, do as he might, 
would challenge and command his attention : 
"Where is Miss Long? Shall I seek and find her, 
that 'we may meet again,' as I said, when last we 
parted?" And the next question — a corollary to 
the preceding — followed: 'Tf found, shall I 
strive to win her, and be united for life, 'for weal 
or woe ?' " What if she had forgotten him, and 
had given, or would give, "her hand with her heart 



COGITATIONS 109 

in it" to the man of her choice? The thought gave 
him genuine pain, such as he had never felt before. 
He began to reaHze that hfe would be a dreary 
thing without her, and to find her and learn from 
her lips his fate was the only manly, straightfor- 
ward course to take ; and, deciding thus, he 
became impatient to begin the undertaking. 

Before he should act, however, he thought his 
mother and sisters ought to know something of the 
matter. They had observed that he was moody 
and silent at times, and apparently thinking of 
something which he had not seen fit to divulge ; 
and they frequently talked of it when alone. But 
the time came, at dinner, one day, when he said : 

"Mother, what would you think, since the war 
is over, if the North and South should fall in love 
and marry?" 

"What a question, son !" replied the mother. 

"What a conundrum !" said the elder sister. 

"What a funny notion !" said the younger. 

"Explain yourself, Alfred," said the mother. 

"Yes, give us something real to guess at," said 
the elder girl. 

"Give us facts," chimed in the younger. 

The three women now had an inkling as to the 
cause of those dreamy, moody moments, when the 
seal of absolute silence had been on his lips. 

"Well, then, to speak plainly," said he, "what 
would you think if I should seek, and find, a South- 
ern girl to my taste; and should fall in love with, 



110 THE LAST MAN 

court, win, and marry her? There, now, is that 
expHcit enough?" 

"Who is it?" "Who is she?" asked the sisters. 

"Could you not do as well, Alfred, to find, court, 
and marry some Northern girl?" ventured the 
mother. 

"But suppose I have already found the girl — a 
Southern girl — and that I love her. What then?" 
queried he. 

"Who is she ?" again asked the sisters. 

"Yes, my son; tell us all about her," said the 
mother. "I am greatly surprised, though, that as 
good a Union soldier as you should take a fancy 
to a Southern, secession girl." 

"As to that, mother, I agree with you that great, 
irreconcilable differences between the opinions of 
a man and a woman on politics or religion ought 
to prevent their marrying. But I have a notion 
that this little w^oman is not the same now that she 
was when the war began. And so I think I shall go 
and hunt her up and learn the truth from her, as to 
that, and other important matters." 

"O, I see," said the elder sister, "brother is over 
head and ears in love with her, and if he is, why 
shouldn't he find out whether she cares for him? 
That's what I would want a man to do, if he were 
in love with me." 

"And, brother, if you find that she loves you, 
will you marry her?" asked the younger. 

"I surely w'ill marry her, if she will marry me," 
answered the brother. 



COGITATIONS HI 

Then followed questions as to Miss Long's fam- 
ily, social standing, beauty, acquirements, and per- 
sonal qualities, to all of which he gave full, truthful 
answers, closing with the statement that, if he had 
not been the subject of this young woman's devo- 
tion and care, while he lay helpless at death's door, 
he would not be with them to tell of it. "And," 
said he, '\vhen we parted at Richmond, I expressed 
the wish and hope that we might meet again." 

"And where is she now ?" asked the mother. 

"I know not," replied he; "but I shall go to 
Richmond and search for her." 

"Well, Alfred," concluded she, "men often make 
the mistake of a lifetime in marrying the wrong 
woman, but I hope and pray that you may make no 
mistake." 

"When are you going, brother?" asked the elder 
sister. 

"To-morrow, Tuss,' " said he, as he gently 
pinched one of her ears. 

"And how long is this going to take?" asked the 
younger. 

"In truth I cannot venture to make a guess, 'Kit- 
ten,' can you?" 

So next morning, with trunk packed, he set out 
on this, to him, a new tour of search, and possible 
discovery. 

"You will write soon and often, Alfred?" inquired 
the mother. 

"O yes, I'll keep you well advised as to all my 



112 THE LAST MAN 

doings. The mails are re-established all over the 
South." 

Farewells and kisses followed, and he was gone. 

Arriving at Richmond, and registering at a hotel, 
he began the search without delay. First, he vis- 
ited all the hospitals yet remaining, but in vain. 
Next he made inquiries of people who had been in 
Richmond all through the war, but the only infor- 
mation gained was that many of the hospital attend- 
ants had gone with the Confederate Government 
and Army, when the city was evacuated. Tlien he 
consulted the city directories, but they were several 
years old, and useless. He then applied to the 
police force, but, being new men, they knew nothing 
of the person inquired for. 

He resorted to the writing and mailing of a note. 
After two days it was returned, unclaimed. At 
last, he was obliged to publish a personal in a city 
paper, couched in terms thus : 

"If Miss Alena Long, formerly connected with 
the hospital service, will kindly give her address in 
this newspaper, she will oblige, A Friend." 

Next day the paper published a reply, giving her 
street address, but nothing more. Within an hour 
he stood ringing the door-bell of the designated 
humble house; a sable servant opened the door, 
and, learning that Miss Long was within, he 
directed the servant to say that the "Friend" who 
had received her address was desirous of seeing her. 



COGITATIONS 113 

The servant returned, saying that Miss Long would 
be in very soon. While waiting, Boyd looked about 
the room, which was scantily furnished. On the 
walls hung cheap lithographs of President Davis 
and Generals Lee and Jackson. In a corner stood 
an army rifle, and over the mantlepiece hung an 
old-fashioned horse pistol. On the table lay some 
newspapers, in one of which was his "personal" 
marked, and in another was her answer. 

Presently there was a rustle of garments, and 
Miss Long was again face to face with Colonel 
Boyd. The same bright-eyed, cheery young 
woman, a trifle older, but all the more womanly. 
Instead of hospital attire, as when he last saw her, 
she was robed in a gown of gray stuff — cheap, but 
neat, and fitting her fine figure like a glove. Who 
is gifted to portray the emotions of those two, at 
that moment? How much of fearful import had 
happened since last they parted ! How often had 
each imagined and feared that ill had come to the 
other, of which no tidings had come, or could come, 
to aching hearts ! As the colonel held out both 
hands and clasped both of hers, he said : 

"As you asked me to do, Alena, I 'took good 
care of myself,' and here I am." 

Miss Long, at a loss for words, simply responded, 
in trembling voice : 

"I am so glad ! Welcome, Captain Boyd ! I 
was cautious about coming in, for I was not sure 
who wished to see me." 

As eyes looked into eyes, a volume was spoken 



114 THE LAST MAN 

that lips had not yet dared to utter. But there was 
no "rushing into his arms," nor "swooning on his 
manly bosom," nor, on his part, were there any 
ungainly airs, nor advances of doubtful gallantry, 
such as you, good father, would resent, if shown to 
your daughter. It was a hearty meeting of old- 
time friends — nothing more. At least they tried to 
think it was nothing more. Being seated, at his 
request, she gave a full, circumstantial account of 
all that had happened to her, from the summer of 
1863, closing with the evacuation and burning of 
the city. 

"Since then," said she, "Auntie and I have been 
in this poor little house, as her house was burned 
with the rest. That is all, and now, tell me of your- 
self. Captain, or whatever you may be." 

Boyd related, as succinctly as possible, the events 
of his career, and closed by saying that he had just 
come from home and his mother and sisters. 

"And were you still a captain when the war 
ended?" asked she, hesitatingly. 

"No, I had the honor," said he, "to be advanced 
from rank to rank, until I became a colonel." 

"Just as I expected," said she, with animation. 
"I always felt that you would do your duty, as it 
seemed to you, even though it would be the worse 
for our cause. Allow me to congratulate Colonel 
Boyd." 

"Thank you, Alena. And as you have men- 
tioned your 'cause,' how do you regard it now?" 

"O, it is a lost cause, and must remain lost for- 



COGITATIONS 115 

ever," said she. "We took it up honestly, and earn- 
estly, and for it we risked all, life included. But 
as the fates so ordained that we failed, I surrender, 
and accept the result as fixed and final." 

"And do you propose to be loyal from this time 
forth?" asked he, smiling. 

"Yes, henceforth and forever," said she, smiling 
at him. 

"Heaven be praised for that. Alena," said he. 

"Yes, the war has settled all," said she, "and 
what is the use of talking about it, and stirring 
one's self up about it?" 

"And will the South, especially the women, ac- 
cept the result, as you do, and hereafter show love 
and loyalty for the Union as they did for the Con- 
federacy?" queried he. 

"I cannot say," replied she ; "but I am sure they 
ought to do so, as they and their fathers, brothers, 
husbands, and sons will be obliged to live within 
the Union, obey the laws, and, if necessary, help to 
defend it against all foreign foes." 

"Hurrah!" said Boyd; "you are as sound and 
patriotic a woman as I am a man, Alena. I wish 
all of you were as sensible and patriotic." 

"Thank you. Colonel. I am, first of all an 
American, with a capital 'A,' and believe in my 
native country as against the world !" 

As she spoke these words her eyes glowed with 
enthusiasm, and her curls shook with emotion. 

"Hurrah ! again," said Boyd. "I aver that your 
loyalty is above suspicion, and will defend it against 



116 THE LAST MAN 

all comers. So that is settled. Now may I change 
the subject?" 

"O yes, as you please." 

"Have you any prospects or plans for the 
future?" 

"None whatever," said she. "Aunt is financially 
ruined, and all I have is about five hundred dollars 
of Confederate money, which is worthless, and we 
have no income from any source, nor any business 
in prospect, unless it might be a lunch-room or a 
boarding-house." 

"Will you introduce me to your aunt? I want 
to become acquainted." 

"With pleasure," said she ; "but would it do as 
well to wait till to-morrow? Aunt, poor dear, 
would, I know, like a little time to prepare for such 
a meeting. She has never seen a full-fledged, good- 
humored, live Yankee colonel, and I want to pre- 
pare her for the trying ordeal." 

Laughing, he said, "Very well." 

"And I may say that you are a real colonel, may 
I not," quizzed she. 

"Certainly, Alena. But why do you lay such 
stress on the word 'real ?' " 

"Excuse me for what you may have been think- 
ing was a doubt in my mind as to your true rank. 
Down here we have two kinds of colonels — the 
real ones, who won their spurs in war, and the other 
kind, who were invisible in war, but are now invin- 
cible in peace, particularly after the imbibation of 
the conventional mint julep," 



COGITATIONS. 117 

Boyd laughed heartily. 

"At what hour to-morrow shall I come?" 

"Would three o'clock suit you?" 

"Yes, I'll be here at that hour." He extended his 
hand. 

"Wait a moment, Colonel," said she. Retiring 
abruptl>-, she came again with a long, tightly 
wrapped bundle in her hands, which she extended 
to him. 

''What is this?" he asked. 

"The sword, belt, and revolver," said she. 

"And you found and kept them, all this time?" 
queried he, 

"Found them ?" repeated she ; "yes, I never ceased 
to search and inquire till I found them. And no 
one but you, or your folks, should ever have had 
them from me." 

"You're a phenomenon, Alena," said he. 

"What is that?" asked she, curiously. 

"Beg pardon ; you're a jewel," he replied. 

"And what is that?" asked she, roguishly. 

"Excuse me at present. I may tell you at another 
time," he answered. "But how can I repay you?" 

"I am already repaid." 

"Then how can I reward you?" 

"I am already rewarded." 

"How?" asked he. 

"By seeing the lost articles in the owner's hands." 

"Then what can I do for you ?" he continued. 

"Do nothing." 

"Well, Alena, you are an enigma!" 



118 THE LAST MAN 

"And what is that, Colonel?" she asked, her eyes 
sparkling with fun. 

"An enigma is — is — well, I'll take time to think 
till to-morrow." 

"Till to-morrow be it, then," she echoed. "Good- 
bye !" 

"Good-bye !" 

Returning to the hotel, the colonel inspected the 
revolver, the belt, and, last of all, the sword. As 
he drew it from the scabbard, he saw attached to 
the hilt a folded paper. Releasing and unfolding 
it, he' read: 

"Nov. 3, 1863. — This sword, belt, and revolver 
belong to Captain Alfred Boyd, of the — th Ohio 
Infantry, who fell, wounded, and was captured at 
Chancellorsville, May 5, 1863. He was treated in 
one of our hospitals for several weeks, and when 
released, and exchanged, these articles could not 
be found. x\fter his departure I searched for and 
found them. If the fortunes of war result in his 
death, or mine, I charge the reader of this to adver- 
tise the property, so that his mother and sisters 
may recover them. Our cause needs not to be 
aided by wronging a noble, brave man, and a true 
gentleman, as I know Captain Boyd tO' be, even 
though he is a Yankee and an enemy. 

Miss Alena Long, 
Hospital Nurse, Riclimond, Va." 

What a volume in these few words. What food 
for thought. And he thought. The bells rang out 
the midnight hour ere he ceased to pace up and 
down the narrow confines of his apartment. 



XL 

THE TROTH-PLIGHT. 

Awaking late the next morning-, the first subject 
that engaged Boyd's thoughts were the events of 
the previous day, and his musings were very hap- 
pifying. But, before all other business, he must 
write, as he had promised, to the home folks. The 
missive ran thus : 

"Richmond, Va., Sept. lo, 1865. 

Dear Mother and Sisters : — I have found her ! 

Dutifully yours, Alfred." 

There was music in his soul, such as he had 
never heard before. There was sweet content, of 
such delicious quality and flavor as he had never 
even dreamed of. 

There was an extension of his mental horizon, 
such as all other events in his life had not produced. 
He now knew, as never before, that he had loved 
Miss Long from the beginning; loved her for her- 
self alone; that his love was augmented by his 
kindness to her; and that it was intensified by her 
devotion to him, in past, eventful years. And 
she — she must have loved him, or, at least, have 
felt a sentiment warmer than friendship for him, 
to do, and sufifer, and wait, as she had done, for 



120 THE LAST MAN 

his coming. How should he learn whether she 
loved him? What if she loved another man? Or 
what if she were receiving the devoted attentions 
of another man? 

Should he now make the venture, tell her of his 
love, and ask her for her love in return? Ah, he 
must know, and end this torturing suspense. He 
had never taken part in a love-making, and knew 
nothing as to the process. Should he enter upon 
the matter, at the meeting this afternoon? Yes, 
he would, if conditions were favorable, but he 
would be controlled by circumstances. He was to 
meet Miss Long's aunt, who might prove to be an 
important factor in the problem, by reason of her 
habits, feelings, wishes, and her influence, withal, 
over the young woman. He would, in military 
parlance, reconnoitre before making an advance. 

At the appointed hour, he rang and was admitted 
to the house, which now looked more beautiful 
than on his previous visit. Miss Long received 
him cordially, it is true, but with a certain degree 
of reserve, which he jotted down mentally as an 
unfavorable condition. "Excuse me for a mo- 
ment, Colonel, and I will bring aunt." She re- 
turned with a lady of middle age, on whose face 
were tracings of trouble, mental suffering, and dis- 
appointment, combined with a nameless something 
in her manner and pose which betokened better 
days, long since past. 

"Aunt," said Alena, "this is Colonel Boyd, of 
whom I have spoken to you. He is in the city, and 



THE TROTH-PLIGHT 121 

has done us the honor of calling. Colonel Boyd, 
this is my aunt, Mrs. Milgrove, with whom I am 
now living."' 

"What an introduction!" thought Boyd. "Po- 
lite and almost frigid ! Not a favorable condition." 

The two bowed and spoke the words of courtesy. 
The lady's mien, words, and tones of voice showed 
her to be a woman of culture, and of high former 
distinction, and he conceived a very favorable re- 
gard for her. And the open, frank, manly manner 
of the man showed to the experienced eye and 
judgment of Mrs. Milgrove, that he was of superior 
parts, and a gentleman. The expression of their 
eyes, not less than their words, told of mutual re- 
spect from that moment. The conversation that 
ensued revealed the following facts : That she was 
a sister of Miss Long's father; that she had been 
educated at a woman's college in New York ; that 
she had married Mr. Milgrove, a lawyer, planter, 
and influential citizen of Virginia ; that he had 
amassed a considerable sum of money, owned large 
tracts of land, cultivated by more than a hundred 
slaves, and producing a large income ; and that he 
had resided in Richmond, in a beautiful house, on a 
fashionable avenue. Further, that the war had 
swept away his money, ruined his farms, and freed 
his slaves — all were gone. And last, and saddest 
of all, Mr. Milgrove had died on the battle-field 
and her brother, Miss Long's father, had died at 
their house, in the winter of 1861- 62. 

What wonder that this lone woman's face bore 



122 THE LAST MAN 

indelible traces of grief and settled sadness? What 
wonder that her tears fell, and sobs punctuated her 
eloquent but plaintive utterances? As she closed 
the recital, Miss Long- said, soothingly : 

"Auntie, dear, it is all over, now, and we should 
try to forget, or endure our troubles and losses, as 
best we may ; knowing, as we do, that nothing can 
be reversed or remedied." 

"Very true, Alena," said she; "I have often 
prayed, and the prayer has been answered, that I 
might have strength and grace to endure to the 
end. Life, after all, is grief, but what follows is 
everlasting." 

Said Boyd : "I have heard that troubles form 
the greater part of man's lot, and, if so, I suppose 
the best thing one can do is to endure them, get all 
the good one can out of them, and so live, that 
when one goes to his last account he may be found 
worthy to enter into that future of happiness which 
is free from all trouble." 

"That is truth itself, Colonel," responded Mrs. 
Milgrove, "but the troubles incident to the war, 
the blows we received, as well as those we gave you 
Northerners, were so unlooked for, so unlike any- 
thing else we had ever been obliged to meet, that it 
is hard to become reconciled to them." 

"Very true," said Boyd, "war is cruel, — always 
cruel, and should in my opinion never be invoked 
between civilized nations, until every other means 
of adjusting differences shall have been exhausted, 



i^HE TROTH-PLIGHT 123 

and then only when a great principle is the point 
at issue between the antagonizing forces." 

"Yes," assented Mrs. Milgrove, "war often costs 
many times more than the value of the matter in 
dispute. We have apparently lost all but our lands 
and our honor. Thank Heaven, these are yet ours ! 
By the way, Colonel, I have been made extremely 
sad by the death of President Lincoln, for I had 
come to believe, with many of our people, that he, 
like that glorious General Grant of yours, would 
have been a sympathizing friend to us poor people. 
But, Colonel, this is poor entertainment for you, 
and as you two friends would like to talk of 'Auld 
larig syne,' perhaps, I will retire. Call again, when- 
ever you wish, while you remain in the city." She 
had risen. "Stay a moment, please, Mrs. Mil- 
grove," said Boyd, his face all ablaze, "we may talk 
of 'Auld lang syne,' but I wish to ask your per- 
mission to talk with Miss Long about her and my 
future, if, with your permission, she is willing." 

Miss Long's face was now ablaze. 

"Most certainly you have my permission. The 
young lady is her own mistress, yet she seems to 
rely, in some matters, upon my 'superior judg- 
ment,' as she is pleased to term it. Good after- 
noon !" 

And with stately, but easy courtesy, she retired. 

Said Boyd : "I admire your aunt greatly." 

"Do you?" echoed Alena. "Then I am greatly 
pleased." 

"But perhaps my admiration for her is but the 



124 THE LAST MAN 

reflex of a sentiment I entertain for her niece, eh ?" 
said he. 

"Now, Colonel, please don't dissipate my pleas- 
ure by saying that your opinion of aunt is due to 
anything else than her own dear self." 

"Then at your suggestion I will leave her out 
entirely at present, and will speak my opinion of 
you, alone, Alena. May I ?" 

Miss Long's tell-tale face betrayed two facts — 
consciousness that a crisis in their affairs had 
arisen, and a true woman's pleasure, poorly con- 
cealed, that it had arisen. Hesitating for a mo- 
ment, with eyes downcast, and flushed face, while 
he, standing, gazed upon her, earnestly and anx- 
iously, she said : 

"Colonel Boyd, I cannot decline to hear you. 
How could I decline, after all that has happened ?" 

The man moved to her side, seated himself, and 
for the first time grasped one of her hands, and, 
when all was ready, — found his words sticking in 
his throat and refusing to be spoken ! At last he 
made out to say : 

"Miss Long, — Alena, I mean, — you must have 
seen, if you did not feel, that I have had a prefer- 
ence for you above all other women. Have you 
not?" 

"I don't know. Colonel ; I have known that you 
were my friend," said she, "but as to your prefer- 
ence, I have never seen you in company with other 
ladies. How do I know?" 

"I mean to say," urged Boyd, "that I have never 



THE TROTH-PLIGHT 125 

had a preference for any woman but you, Alena. 
But that is not the half of it. May I tell you the 
other half? Then you will know all." 

"Certainly, Colonel, if it will give you pleasure," 
answered she. 

"I never 'made love,' as they call it, to any wo- 
man but my mother, Alena !" he blurted out. 

"Good boy that you were," said she. 

"And I don't know how to make love to any 
other woman, in any set speech or phrase, or by 
any rule of polite society." 

"Are rules for love-making good rules?" she 
quizzed, naively. 

"I don't think they are," said the novice. "At 
least they wouldn't be of any use in my case, for I 
wouldn't have time to memorize and practice upon 
them." 

"Nature surpasses art many times, does she 
not?" suggested the lady. 

"Certainly she does, Alena, and so I shall follow 
nature. Alena, little woman, I say with all this 
heart and soul, I love you, and you only! There ! 
that is the other half!" 

"O, Colonel Boyd!" said she, as she made an 
attempt to rise, "isn't this— sudden? Haven't 
you mistaken our friendship for love?" 

"No, no!" said he, impulsively. "I know what 
friendship is — know it well — but this — this is — a 
great emotion or passion, unlike anything I have 
ever felt before, or ever felt for any one but you, 
Alena. So powerful is it that I couldn't control it 



126 THE LAST MAN 

if I would, and so sweet and intoxicating is it that 
I wouldn't control it if I could ! Ah, Alena, I 
know I love you, and you only !" 

He clasped her hand more closely, and bent for- 
ward to look into her downcast face to read 
therein, if it were there, a response to his love. 
Silence, almost painful, prevailed for several mo- 
ments, and then he ventured to ask, with a true 
lover's timidity and anxiety — 

"And what are your feelings for me, Alena?" 

"You know how I feel. Colonel," she said. 

"How do I know, Alena?" 

"It is hard for me to tell you," she replied. 

"Why?" pursued he. 

"Because it might seem unwomanly for me to 
tell," she answered. 

"What ! Unwomanly for you, Alena, to tell me 
whether you love, or can love me? In my way of 
thinking, it is impossible for you to say or do an 
unwomanly thing ! I swear it upon my sword ! 
O, do tell me the truth, Alena!" 

"Must I?" she asked, trembling. 

"O, no, Alena, I don't say 'must,' but do, pray, 
tell me, now and here and bless me, or send me 
away forever !" 

"O, Colonel," replied she, "I must be true and 
frank with you, I see, and I may just as well tell 
you, once and for all, I do love you as I never 
loved any man in the world !" 

"And will you be mine?" quickly came his pas- 



THE TROTH-PLIGHT 127 

sionate inquiry, full of joy and hope, as his arm 
softly stole about her waist. 

The woman's head dropped lower and lower; he 
drew her to him, till her face and curls rested 
against his manly bosom ; and thus entreated, half 
opening her eyes, moist with the dew of a maiden's 
first and only love, she whispered : 

"Yes, I am thine !" 

Now it was all told ! Her whole soul was in 
that brief sentence ; and if true marriages are re- 
corded in heaven, as they say, the recording angel 
made an entry at that sweet, soulful moment ! 
Boyd's face bent to hers, and a kiss, — the first he 
had ever given a woman not a relative, and the 
first Alena had ever received from a young man, — 
sealed the solemn compact ! For many minutes 
they sat thus, unconscious of the flight of time — 
what was time to them ? — until long slanting shad- 
ows showed that the sun was near his setting. 
Then he broke the silence : 

"I should go, for this time, dear, but before go- 
ing, I think we ought to tell aunt of this, — this, — 
business. Don't you think so ?" 

"O, yes," said Alena, "I hope it will make her 
happy, too ! I'll go and bring her." 

When the two returned, Boyd walked briskly to 
them, and softly passing an arm about Alena's 
waist, and taking a hand in one of his, he said : 

"Aunt Milgrove, — hoping I may have the pleas- 
ure of addressing you by that title from this time 



128 THE LAST MAN 

forth — I have to tell you that Miss Long and I are 
in love !" 

"Ah!" said Mrs. Milgrove, "I felt sure of that 
before I ever saw you." 

"How so ?" asked he. 

"By what I had heard," said she, glancing at 
Alena. 

"And we are plighted," said he. "What do you 
think of that?" 

"I foresaw that, too," said she. 

"May I ask how you foresaw it. Aunt?" 

"I knew the young lady loved you, though she 
never told me so, and, from all I had heard about 
you, I felt sure that you loved her, though you 
had never told her so, and that you were not the 
man to trifle with a woman's love, if she did not 
trifle with you. Alena would not — could not — 
trifle with the love of a gentleman, and this is her 
first love affair. So, putting all these things to- 
gether, I foresaw the result. It is natural, and is 
one of the blessed phases of life that is never re- 
gretted, come what may !" 

"Then you approve of what we have done. 
Aunt?" asked he. 

"With all my heart, do I approve it ! Blessings 
on you, my niece and nephew!" 

"Thank you. Aunt," said they, together, as each 
in turn implanted a dutiful kiss on Mrs. Milgrove's 
now radiant cheek. 

"To-morrow," said Boyd, "we'll talk of matters 
looking to our marriage. And I want to speak of 



THE TROTH-PLIGHT 129 

Bertrand, too, Alena. But wait till to-morrow; 
I am too happy to think of anything else to-day. 
Good-night, Aunt ! And now, my idol, a parting 
kiss ! Are you happy, dear?" 

"Too happy to find words to tell it !" said Alena. 

The colonel strode forth from that humble 
dwelling a happier, prouder man by far than when 
he had captured a redoubt, or won a battle at the 
head of his regiment. At one time he had been a 
conqueror, at another time a captive, but now he 
was both conqueror and captive. True love's vic- 
tories ever have been, and ever will be, more won- 
derful than the victories of war. Before he slept 
that night he wrote and posted the following: 

"Richmond, Va., Sept. ii, 1865. 
Dear Mother and Sisters : — I told her I loved 
her ! She loves me, for she told me so ! We are 
betrothed ! Lovingly, Alfred." 



XII. 

THE MARRIAGE. 

"Who comes oftener than I ?" said Boyd, in his 
breezy way, as he was received by Alena, the next 
afternoon. "Another example of the force of 
habit," he added, as he took a seat. 

"Yes," said she, "and how quickly habits are 
formed !" 

"As in the present case," added he. "Now, dear, 
let us talk business for a little. We must settle 
several things, and the first and all-important one 
is when we shall be married." 

"Are you in a hurry, Colonel?" asked she, quiz- 
zingly. 

"Now, Alena, dear, will it suit you just as well 
to leave off my military title when we are alone, 
and just call me Alfred ? There's a good girl. Of 
course, when in company you can give me my 
title, or simply call me 'Mr. Boyd,' as you choose." 

"Agreed," said Alena. "I'll do so, and it seems 
better. I know I felt relieved when you ceased 
calling me 'Miss Long,' and simply said 'Alena.' " 

"Well, that's settled," said he. "Do you know 
anything of Bertrand, Alena?" 

"No, dear," said she; "we have never heard 
of him, or from him, since the fall of 1862. What 
do you know about him, Alfred?" 



THE MARRIAGE 131 

"Nothing, since June, 1864. He was our pris- 
oner then, and he saved my life." 

"Do tell me, Alfred ; you never mentioned this 
before !" 

Boyd gave a full account of the incident, of Ber- 
trand's heroic act, and of the last farewell spoken 
by them. 

"Possibly he was in the surrender at Appomat- 
tox. I will advertise for him. So that is settled 
for the present." 

"Now another thing, Alena; what is your aunt 
to do when you leave her and go with me ?" 

"Really, I had not thought of that, xA-lfred. Sup- 
pose we talk over the matter with her." 

"Yes, that is the proper thing," said he. 

Alena brought Mrs. Milgrove in. She was look- 
ing very happy, because they seemed supremely 
happy. 

"Aunt," began Boyd, "Alena and I are to be 
married ere long, as I hope, and I would like to 
have you tell me how I can serve you, so that 
when we leave you may get along comfortably, if 
possible." 

At this suggestion, Mrs. Milgrove repeated what 
she had before stated, that, of the three farms 
owned by Mr. Milgrove, one was somewhere in 
Alabama in the cotton belt, and the other two lay 
west of Richmond. She knew nothing of the first, 
except its location, but the two Virginia farms 
were ruined ; the buildings and fences all gone, and 
the entire surface covered with a dense growth of 



132 THE LAST MAN 

young pines, so that the land was quite valueless. 
She could not undertake to restore the farms to a 
cultivable, paying condition, and, for the reasons 
mentioned, and the dearth of money among the 
people, the possibility of selling them was remote, 
to say the least. 

Boyd suggested that the Virginia farms might 
be leased for a term of years, which would bring 
her an income, and improve and enhance the value 
of the land. 

"But how would I go about it. Colonel?" asked 
she. "I have no knowledge of business, and would 
make sorry work of it if I should go down to the 
farms and try to lease them." 

"I am not surprised at that. Aunt," said Boyd. 
"But I am advised that a number of Northern men 
have come to this and other points, seeking 
to make investments of various kinds, including 
farms. If such men can be found, they would take 
a lease on the farms, put them in first-class condi- 
tion, and soon enjoy a revenue from them. Now, 
Aunt, if you feel like doing so, you can give me a 
power of attorney to transact this business for you, 
and I will go to work at once." 

The power of attorney was given next day, and, 
to cut the account short, within a fortnight the 
farms were leased, for five years from January i, 
1866, at a good annual rental, payable quarterly in 
advance. 

As the lessees left the house, Alena said : 

"Auntie, you can always trust a Yankee to make 



THE MARRIAGE 133 

a good bargain, if nothing else, and in the shortest 
possible time, too !" 

"Do you allude to me, young woman?" asked 
Boyd. "Quite complimentary, my dear, but I 
rather think I deserve it, for I know I made a 
good bargain some days ago, and in a short time, 
too, by the clock, but it seemed like an age to me, 
measured by my feelings !" 

All laughed, but Alena retorted : "O, you rogue, 
I didn't mean that, I meant the farms." 

During the period just passed there appeared 
in a daily paper the following personal : 

"If any person can give information as to the 
whereabouts of Bertrand Long, late of the Confed- 
erate States Army, he will confer a great favor, and 
will receive the heartfelt thanks of the young man's 
sorrowing sister. Address, 'Sister,' this office." 

But no response ever came, and the sad conclu- 
sion that Bertrand was dead forced itself upon 
Alena's mind, and that he had probably been killed 
in the closing battles of the war. 

The old adage, "The course of true love never 
runs smooth," was not exemplified in Colonel 
Boyd's case, unless the little episode now to be 
described may be accepted as a little ripple, or 
whirlpool, in the current of his love. 

One morning a note addressed to Miss Long 
was brought to her by a colored boy, which ran 
thus : 



134 THE LAST MAN 

"Richmond, Sept. lo, 1865. 
Miss Long : — I saw you at a hospital, after the 
battle of Chancellorsville, while I was a patient 
there, and noticed, with feelings of envy, that a 
certain Yankee officer, who was wounded and a 
prisoner there, required and received much of your 
attention and kind offices. His name is Colonel 
Boyd, and I understand he is now in the city, and 
is paying his addresses to you. I have this to pro- 
pose, that, if his attentions are not agreeable, you 
will let me know, and you shall not be further an- 
noyed. Southern ladies have ever been disposed 
to indicate a preference for Southern gentlemen, 
and I trust that you. Miss Long, are not an excep- 
tion. Hoping to have the honor of receiving a 
reply by the bearer, I remain, 
Yours loyally, 

Col. J. Ardmore Paden." 

Alena directed the boy to wait outside, closed 
the door, called her aunt, and, after a few moments 
of colloquy between them, returned the note to the 
messenger without reply. This was carefully kept 
from Boyd. 

The next day Colonel Boyd received a note from 
the same source, and of the same tenor, closing 
with the announcement that he, Colonel Paden, had 
conceived a consuming passion for Miss Long, and 
intended, with her consent, to solicit her hand and 
heart, and if she should favor his suit, he desired 
to serve notice on Colonel Boyd that any further 



THE MARRIAGE 135 

attentions to the lady would not be permitted nor 
tolerated, and ending with : 

"Colonel Boyd is a soldier, as I am, and will 
comprehend the full import of this note. 
Very respectfully, 

Col. J. Ardmore Paden." 

Boyd returned the following answer : 

"September ii, 1865. 
Sir: — Your note of this morning received and 
considered. I appreciate your preference for Miss 
Long, and consider it an evidence of superior 
taste. But I cannot agree that you should have the 
exclusive privilege of addressing the lady, unless 
she has given notice to you or me, or, in some 
way, indicated that she prefers you to me, in which 
case I should willingly and cheerfully desist from 
any further attentions. Will not Colonel Paden 
agree with me that such would be the proper and 
amicable way of settling the matter? And, if the 
lady will intimate, or has intimated, her preference, 
as between us, will Colonel Paden abide her de- 
cision, as will Yours, very respectfully. 

Col. Alfred Boyd." 

Next day witnessed a coming together of the 
two men, when Boyd made a frank averment, on 
the honor of a soldier, that Miss Long and he were 
afifianced. Colonel Paden accepted the statement, 
grew friendly, and finished by congratulating 
Boyd. And thus by the exercise of good taste and 



136 THE LAST MAN 

common sense, a matter of moment to both men 
was satisfactorily and cordially settled, which, un- 
der less prudent counsel and management, might 
have degenerated into a resort to the code duello. 

But now that all other matters are disposed of, 
comes up the first, last, most important of all — 
their marriage, and the time, place and circum- 
stances under which it shall occur. After much 
conversation it is definitely settled that they will 
marry about October ist, at either Washington 
or Alexandria, and without pomp or circumstance, 
and that as soon thereafter as convenient the bride 
and groom will go by railway to his home, while 
Mrs. Milgrove will return to her home in Rich- 
mond. 

To all the arrangements, except going to Wash- 
ington, the aunt consented, and at length her ob- 
jections being overcome by the two youthful en- 
thusiasts, she consented to that arrangement also. 

One morning Boyd packed his trunk, kissed 
Alena and the aunt, and was off for Washington. 
Within three days, by arrangement, Alena, Mrs. 
Milgrove and her servant joined him, and were 
quartered in a suite of delightful rooms in a first- 
class private boarding house, while Boyd remained 
at his hotel. He wrote home thus : 

"Washington, D. C, Sept. 20, 1865. 
Dear Home Folks : — We are to be married soon. 
Will write you when the day is fixed. 

Lovingly, Alfred." 



THE MARRIAGE 137 

To say that the two ladies were busy for the 
next ten days would be stating it mildly, too 
mildly. Of all occupations and amusements of the 
fair sex, none is so interesting as the preparations 
for a marriage, except the marriage itself. Shop- 
ping, gowns, wraps, bonnets, hats, footgear, lin- 
gerie, lotions, powders, trunks, satchels, bags, and 
a hundred other things give them ceaseless and 
tiresome but delightful labor, never complete till 
the tired, trembling girl is a bride. Rightly, too, 
for the greatest, and, as it should be, the happiest 
event in a woman's life is honorable, irrevocable 
marriage. The candidate and her young lady 
friends feel this, her married lady friends know it. 
Besides, there is a glamour about the marriage 
altar and the marriage vow that pertains to no 
other institution or ceremony. 

During the era of preparation, the day, the hour 
and the place for the marriage had been fixed. 
October loth, at high noon, in that ancient chapel, 
Christ Church, in Alexandria, Virginia, where the 
Father of his Country formerly sat, and knelt, and 
worshiped ! The day arrived, as such days do, 
and the three, together with Mrs. Milgrove's ser- 
vant, and Tom, the colonel's old-time servant, went 
by boat to Alexandria. It may be said in passing 
that the two servants enjoyed the scene so well 
that in a few weeks after they too were wedded. 
Standing at the altar, as were Boyd and Miss 
Long, when the rector, robed and dignified, asked : 
"Who giveth this woman away?" no one replied. 



138 THE LAST MAN 

"Is there no one here to perform this office?" 
asked he. 

Aunt Milgrove replied : "The woman has no 
male relative, here or elsewhere, so far as is known, 
to do this office." 

"It matters not," said the rector. "The first wo- 
man that the Lord made had no one 'to give her 
away,' so she gave herself away, and thus must this 
her daughter do." Then came the words, "With 
this ring I thee wed," and then, "What God hath 
joined together, let no man put asunder." 

It was done, and "they twain were made one 
flesh." 

After congratulations, the rector, who had laid 
aside his robes, asked Boyd what induced him to 
come from Washington to be married there. Boyd 
replied : 

"In this church the Father of our Country wor- 
shiped. It seemed to me, and to my wife, and to 
aunt, a beautiful as well as a grateful, sacred thing 
to celebrate our nuptials here." 

The rector was highly pleased with the groom's 
patriotism and good taste, and proceeded to show 
him all the curios and relics in and about the 
consecrated place. They sat in the pew which 
Washington had occupied, looked at the ancient 
candelabra, formerly used in lighting the church; 
saw and read the title of incorporation of the 
church, nearly a century old, and examined with 
interest all other matters and things so carefully 



THE MARRIAGE 139 

preserved and so reverently exhibited. Adieus 
were then said and the party returned to Wash- 
ington. 

That evening our new benedict wrote and mailed 
the following: 

"Washington, D. C, October loth. 
Dear Mother and Sisters : — We were married at 
12 o'clock to-day in the church where Washington 
was a member and worshiped. The North and 
South are again united. Look for us, we are com- 
ing. Loyally yours, Alfred." 

Two or more days were spent in the Capital in 
sight-seeing. Even so long ago as 1865 the city 
was rich in objects of interest. There is, in this 
vast country, teeming as it does with a multitude 
of wonders, but one great Monument, one Capitol, 
and one Washington. 

On a beautiful October morning Aunt Milgrove, 
with tears in her eyes, but joy in her heart, kissed 
the happy young people, promised to visit them, 
and the sweet old-fashioned good-byes were 
spoken and she and her servant were off for Rich- 
mond. A few days later Boyd and wife boarded 
a railway train for Ohio, and in due time, without 
incident, arrived at his boyhood home. 

His mother, after planting an enthusiastic, moth- 
erly kiss on the cheek of her son, glided to the 
blushing, sweet-faced girl at his side, embraced, 
kissed and caressed her as though she were an 



140 THE LAST MAN 

own, only daughter. The two sisters followed the 
mother's example. White-winged peace spread 
her pinions over a once more united household, 
and the stars, far above, shone their brightest, and 
twinkled welcomes to the successful wooer and 
his bonny, blushing bride. 



XIII. 

THE FIERY FURNACE. 

After a fortnight of connubial bliss, Boyd said : 

"Alena, suppose we visit your old home. Shall 
we?" 

"Certainly," said she. "Though it will be sad 
in some respects, yet I am anxious to see the old 
town, the old house, and the spot where mother 
lies." 

"Can we go to-morrow?" 

"O, yes, I am ready whenever it suits you, Al- 
fred," she responded. 

Next day they took the boat, and in due time 
reached the vicinity of Galliput. As the familiar 
old hills and valleys came into view, one after 
another, gladness and sadness commingled equally 
in her mind — gladness that she should revisit the 
home of her childhood under such changed and 
improved conditions, and sadness as thoughts of 
her mother took possession of her memory and 
emotions. Now the steamer has sighted Gram- 
ercy, and now it is "rounding in" for the landing, 
to put them ashore. As they set foot on land, and 
are waiting for their luggage to be brought ashore, 
a bevy of seedy-looking men on the bank are ob- 
serving them. One of these, clad in Confederate 
gray, said: 



142 THE LAST MAN 

"Say, fellows, if there isn't Alena Long ! Look 
at that face and them eyes. And so she's got 
back, too. I wonder where's she's been, and who 
that big fellow is?" 

"No, it isn't her, neither," said another. "Alena 
Long had curls, and that girl hasn't, don't you 
see?" 

"Go up and speak to her, Jim, and find out," said 
a third. 

Jim, hat in hand, came up and, bowing in a rus- 
tic fashion, said : 

"Isn't this Alena Long?" 

The young wife, looking kindly at the man said : 

"Yes, I am she that used to be Miss Long." 

"That's what I told them fellows, and they said 
it wasn't you. But if you ain't Miss Long now, 
who are you?" inquired Jim. 

"This gentleman's wife," replied she. 

The luggage having come ashore, Jim proffered 
to carry it to the hotel where they were to abide 
during their visit. For the service Boyd rewarded 
him liberally, and within an hour he and his friends 
celebrated the occasion by becoming uproariously 
intoxicated. 

The news of Alena's return spread through the 
village with lightning-like rapidity, and before din- 
ner was over a number of women, old and young, 
came to see the brave girl who had dared and sur- 
vived perils that might appall the heart of the 
bravest man. 

As they listened to the story of her flight from 



THE FIERY FURNACE 143 

home, by night, over the mountains, in mid-winter, 
of her services to the sick, wounded and dying; of 
the many eyes she had closed in death ; of the cru- 
cifixion of her hopes for the triumph of secession; 
of her almost penniless condition at times ; and of 
her heroic maintenance, through all, of her wo- 
manly soul and all its attributes, the little audience 
shed copious tears of sympathy for her sufferings 
and of gladness for her wonderful deliverance. 

Alena had studiously avoided any reference to 
Colonel Boyd in her narrative. He, at the time, 
was outside, walking about, and the visitors, by 
their looks at him, by their glances at each other, 
and hints to Mrs. Boyd, indicated that they were 
overcharged with curiosity to know who he was, 
when and where she became acquainted with 
him, how they came to fall in love, if, indeed such 
a thing had happened, when and where they were 
married, if, indeed, that had taken place, and where 
they were living, or were going to live. For all 
had heard through loquacious Jim that she was 
this man's wife. Alena knew intuitively what they 
desired to know, but the interview closed without 
the coveted information. The audience, though 
small, was too miscellaneous to be made the re- 
cipients of her heart's history. But during the 
sojourn there she related to a few chosen old-time 
friends the whole story of their love, and taking 
several of them with her to the old house, now de- 
serted, she said, sweetly : "Here it began, but 
neither of us knew then that it was the beginning." 



144 THE LAST MAN 

A sad incident — the only sad one of their visit — 
occurred at her mother's grave. There it was, 
with nothing but a fast-decaying wooden head- 
board to mark the spot beneath which reposed 
those sainted ashes ! No husband, no child, no 
relative was buried there. The floodgates of the 
loyal daughter's tears were opened, and she wept 
long and bitterly, while her sympathizing husband 
stood with his strong arm about her swaying form 
and silently mingled his tears with hers. When 
all was over and they walked away slowly and 
sadly, he said soothingly that the grave should be 
enclosed and cared for. A beautiful marble monu- 
ment now surmounts the spot, and the lot is en- 
closed by a substantial, tasteful iron fence. 

While on this visit a chance, or what seemed to 
be a chance, presented itself to Boyd to engage in 
business in the valley of the Great Kanawha River. 
Operations in the mining and sale of coal, and the 
manufacture and sale of salt offered flattering in- 
ducements. New companies were organizing, and 
old ones preparing for more extensive business in 
these seemingly lucrative and permanent enter- 
prises. When the visit to Gramercy ended, Boyd 
and his wife took steamer for Charleston, West 
Virginia, and, on arriving, he visited several of the 
companies, yet in the formative stage, studied their 
plans, prospects and inducements, and became a 
member and stockholder in one of them, deposited 
several thousand dollars in the concern, and was 
elected treasurer. 



THE FIERY FURNACE 145 

Then, after a brief visit to his mother and sisters, 
they returned to the Kanawha Valley and became 
residents of the village of Melrose. 

The company immediately began the boring of 
salt wells, building of tanks and sheds for the 
manufacture of salt, and the opening of mines of 
coal. Outlays of money were great, but before 
midwinter the company was able to exhibit quan- 
tities of newly made salt, and to ship consignments 
of it to distant points on the Ohio and Mississippi 
Rivers, together with a fleet of flats laden with 
coal. Prices were good, the demand exceeding the 
supply furnished by all the companies, and all 
made money rapidly. As their profits came in 
they decided to invest them in a further extension 
of the business. Thus matters ran for some years, 
in an apparently prosperous condition. Well 
would it have been for Boyd and his company had 
they sold out their entire plant at the high figures 
offered them several times during this period. 

The bitter and the sweet in life are often won- 
derfully commingled. When fortune in money- 
getting is uniformly favorable, and fame or great- 
ness is "thrust upon one," without effort and 
without thought of others, less fortunate or un- 
fortunate, he is liable to become a tyrant, misan- 
thrope, or nonentity. 

When all is unfavorable, bitter, and unrelenting, 
"and man is made to mourn," the individual is 
likely to become either a suicide or a lunatic. When 
fortune smiles, then frowns ; when gains and losses 
10 



146 THE LAST MAN 

alternate; when pain and happiness contend for 
possession of the human soul, man seems to de- 
velop, grow strong, and confident in his power and 
prowess. 

In this season of prosperity there had come to 
the house of Boyd a bright-eyed baby boy, the 
image of its father, and the cup of maternal joy 
and paternal pride ran over. 

The house of Boyd now had an heir. The 
young mother lost none of her sweetness in the 
duties of her new function, and the father donned 
his new dignity so easily that he gained additional 
respect and consideration from the whole com- 
munity. And when the little son had begun to 
talk, and walk, and play, another cherub in the 
form of a little girl came to enlarge the charmed 
circle, and again there was unbounded felicity in 
the house and in all hearts. Aunt Milgrove had 
come, some weeks before the advent of the little 
girl, to pay a long-promised and long-expected 
visit to the Boyd family, and her presence, dignified 
and cheery as ever, added richly to the gladness of 
the occasion. 

All the wealth of her highly endowed nature 
seemed to center about and expend itself upon the 
family, especially the little ones. The little girl, 
the image of its mother, became Mrs. Milgrove's 
idol and was worshiped. The aunt's financial condi- 
tion was now easy, as she had sold one of her Vir- 
ginia farms at a good price, and the other was still 
under lease at a good rental. Near the close of 



THE FIERY FURNACE 147 

her stay she called Boyd aside one day and re- 
vealed to him her intention of making a will and 
of naming him as the executor. He urged reasons 
why he should not serve, but she overcame his 
objections, and insisted so earnestly that he at 
length consented. "Upon my arrival at home," 
said she, "I shall make my will, have it witnessed, 
sealed up, and deposited in some one of the city or 
county ofhces, where you can get it and proceed to 
your duties as executor." 

"Why this hurry, Aunt?" asked he. "You may 
outlive me — then what would happen?" 

"I should appoint another executor," said she. 
"But I have had a presentiment that I am not to 
live long. Not that I am sick, or suffering from any 
disease ; on the contrary, I have been enjoying re- 
markably good health for some years past. But 
there comes to me a feeling, as strong as convic- 
tion, that the end is not very far off, and so I am 
decided to make all needful preparations." Thus 
the matter was agreed upon, just before she re- 
turned to Richmond. 

Now came, too, the crucial test of manhood and 
womanhood for Mr. and Mrs. Boyd. Forerun- 
ners of ill fortune for the company began to appear. 
New fields for the production of salt were opened 
and operated. The supply became greater than 
the demand. The market was glutted and prices 
declined. Competition was fierce, and the com- 
pany was driven to sell at yet lower figures. Un- 
less larger sales could be made, they must eventu- 



148 THE LAST MAN 

ally suspend operations, or sell out at a great sac- 
rifice. At a meeting of the officers and principal 
stockholders it was decided to send active can- 
vassers to certain large cities to work up new busi- 
ness and strengthen the old, and Boyd was ap- 
pointed as one of the agents to accomplish this. 
In obedience to the mandate he repaired to his sta- 
tion, St. Louis. Months passed and he had gained 
substantial advantages for the company, when sud- 
denly there came a telegram to come home, as 
there was serious sickness in his family. Within 
thirty hours he crossed the threshold of his home. 
His son was in the clutches of scarlet fever, which 
had reached the second stage, when a hope of 
recovery is all that remains. Vain hope ! The 
malady completed its fatal errand, and "the pretty, 
darling boy was slain." Sadly, O, how sadly, the 
stricken parents laid him away ! But the end~^was 
not yet. Within the next two days the infant 
daughter was attacked by the disease and within a 
week the little innocent darling was dead ! The 
twice-smitten parents were well-nigh bereft of rea- 
son. Sad days and long, weary, dismal nights of 
sorrow and weeping ensued. In no language 
known to earth can the utter loneliness, the painful 
vacuum, the aching void, the lacerated heart- 
strings of those parents be depicted. Useless were 
the words of friends ; vain were their kind offices ; 
and sights and sounds, formerly grateful and en- 
joyable, only served to grate harshly upon the ears 
and feelings of the bereft, childless parents. 



THE FIERY FURNACE 149 

Misfortunes rarely come singly. Sometimes 
they come in troops, in relays. Ere the poignancy 
of the parents' grief for the loss of their darlings 
had ceased, the pecuniary weakness of the company 
became apparent through its failure to meet obli- 
gations to banks and employees. The banks com- 
bined against and sued it; judgments with costs 
were decreed, and, faiUng to comply with the terms, 
the entire property was levied upon, offered for 
sale, and bought by the banks themselves at fig- 
ures so low that, when judgments and costs were 
satisfied and wages of employees were paid, there 
was left for the company but a moiety of the capi- 
tal originally invested. The company was dis- 
solved, and Colonel Boyd had suffered a loss of 
several thousand dollars and years of unrequited 
labor. 

Such a result is nothing unusual. Along the 
shores of the great deep of business are strewn the 
wrecks of fortunes whose ample millions could 
have purchased the wealth of a world. Lives, 
health and happiness have been sacrificed on 
the shores and shoals of the same treacherous sea. 
As it has been, so will it continue to be. There is 
no compass nor polar star to point out with uner- 
ring instinct the cardinal points, and no deep sea 
lead that can be relied on to indicate the rocks and 
quicksands that underlie the business sea. 

Discouraged by losses and sorrows, there was 
yet left to them one priceless boon which neither 
misfortune nor death could wrest from them — 



150 THE LAST MAN 

their love and devotion to each other. Love as 
fresh and new as when they stood at the altar, and 
devotion even more complete than during- the 
honeymoon were theirs. Especially was this true 
of Mrs. Boyd. So long as business had prospered 
and children had claimed her care, she had not felt 
the necessity of exerting herself to promote her 
husband's happiness, as his radiant face, cheery 
voice and quick, buoyant step indicated that he was 
supremely happy. But now she saw and felt, with 
quick womanly intuition, that he was under a cloud 
whose baneful effects might seriously impair, if not 
destroy, those masterful qualities of mind and soul 
by the employment and exercise of which he had 
attained an enviable rank among men. Putting 
aside her own grief, she gave herself to the new 
and angelic task of delivering him from the prison 
of gloomy thought and foreboding, and leading 
him again into a state of freedom and the enjoy- 
ment of subjects and objects to which he as well 
as herself had hitherto been strangers. 

There was another source of happiness which 
came to these chastened souls, and that was the 
acquisition of genuine heart religion. Not that 
kind of religion which consists solely of adherence 
to certain ecclesiastical dogmas that the believer 
does not understand, or, understanding, does not 
believe, though he may subscribe to them as a for- 
mula. 

Their faith accepted the plain, unperverted state- 
ments of the Bible, which they regarded as the 



THE FIERY FURNACE 151 

direct, complete, and only revelation of God to 
man. Such faith inevitably led them to a personal 
appropriation of all the conditions and provisions 
for man's restoration to his original status with the 
Divine One, and preparation to meet Him in peace 
and safety "when life's fitful fever is over." 

To distinguish themselves from the careless, the 
wicked, the profligate, they allied themselves with, 
and became parts of, a Christian church. Thence- 
forth, in words and deeds of loyalty to the Master, 
and love and charity for humanity, they tasted the 
ineffable sweets of the new life which tends, not 
only to elevate one above "the ills that flesh is 
heir to," but to take hold of the certainties, as well 
as the mysteries, of the eternal future. 

At the same time, little by little, through atten- 
tions so delicate and unobtrusive that he did not 
perceive the motive, Alena assisted her husband to 
float safely on the crest of waves which otherwise 
would have engulfed him. 

Under such conditions both grew, intellectually 
and spiritually, as they never would have grown 
had continuous prosperity and ultimate wealth 
been their sole aim and possession. It is only 
when the flower is crushed that it yields its essen- 
tial perfume. It is only through the ministry of 
suffering that the human soul is purified. 

Woolsey never would have attained a moral 
plane high enough to utter his inimitable address 
to Cromwell, had he not felt "the stings and arrows 
of outrageous fortune," and realized that "had he 



152 THE LAST MAN 

served God with half the zeal with which he had 
served his king, he would not have been left deso- 
late in his old age." 

This change in Colonel Boyd, from sadness and 
discouragement, required time and the employ- 
ment of many devices by Mrs. Boyd to turn the 
current of his thoughts and emotions into a safe, 
healthful channel. One of these incidents merits 
a complete description. 



XIV. 
"THE HAWK'S NEST." 

The only stream of considerable size that flows 
northward through the Blue Ridge and Allegheny 
Mountains is New River. Rising in the moun- 
tainous portion of North Carolina, and flowing 
through the upper part of the celebrated Valley of 
Virginia, it finally forms a junction with the 
Gauley River at the western base of the Allegheny 
range, becoming the Great Kanawha, which dis- 
charges its waters into the Ohio River at Point 
Pleasant, West Virginia. 

The location, bed and trend of New River are 
the result of a mighty prehistoric upheaval and 
fracture of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny ranges 
at nearly a right angle with their direction. A 
deep, ragged, tortuous cafion or ravine was thus 
formed, through which many small mountain 
streams in North Carolina found a new outlet, 
instead of flowing directly southeastward to the 
Atlantic Ocean, as they had doubtless done 
through previous ages. To this stream the In- 
dians had given a name signifying "the river of 
the broken-backed mountain." Some French ex- 
plorer, who had discovered it before the English 
came, gave it the name "Noie" River, which, later, 
was anglicized into its present form. 



154 THE LAST MAN 

If some competent master of Indian lore and 
legends would collect, translate and publish a 
treatise of Indian names of lakes, streams and 
mountains, together with the facts, resemblances 
and legends which gave rise to the names, it would 
be a valuable contribution to geography and eth- 
nology. For all these names are self-significant 
words, within which are often concealed valuable 
history and interesting legends. As a race, the 
Indian will soon cease to be, and all that remains 
to tell that he ever existed will be books, and these 
names of permanent physical objects. 

Of several travels and excursions planned by 
Mrs. Boyd, one was a visit to the "Hawk's Nest," 
a mighty overhanging cliff on New River, some 
thirty miles above its junction with the Gauley. 

Leaving home, they drove leisurely up the 
Kanawha Valley, passed and contemplated the 
great falls, just below the junction of the two 
streams, crossed the Gauley bridge, and began 
ascending the mountains. Owing to their steep- 
ness, two days were necessary to complete the 
journey, when they reached the little inn near the 
ledge. Next morning they visited the cliff, lay 
down and crawled to the brink, and peered over 
and down, nine hundred feet, into the river at the 
bottom, which, at such a distance, seemed no wider 
than an average brook. Invited to throw a stone 
across the stream, Boyd tried again and again to 
perform the feat, but in vain, the missiles seeming 
to approach the cliff in their descent, and striking 



'THE HAWK'S NEST" 155 

the rocks and pebbles far on the hither side of the 
water. 

Mrs. Boyd peered over and looked down the 
face of the cliff for a hawk's nest, and calling the 
hotel man and asking where it was, he pointed to 
a little projection on the face of the cliff, some five 
hundred feet below, and said that was the spot 
where the nest had been. 

"And is it not there now ?" asked she. 

"No, I have never seen a hawk, or a nest 
either," he replied. 

"Then why is it called the 'Hawk's Nest?' " per- 
sisted she. 

"The story is a long one, but if you want to hear 
it we will come over here after supper this evening 
and I will tell it as I have heard it." 

At the hour agreed upon they carried chairs 
over to the cliff, and, when seated, the hotel keeper 
said : 

"Before I tell the story, I want to remind you 
that the cliff is nine hundred feet high, and that the 
top projects at least fifty feet beyond the base. 
Notice the turbulent condition of the water, caused 
by the steep incline of the bed of the river and the 
surging of the water between and around the rocks, 
varying from the size of a haycock to a small hill. 
That the river can ever be rendered navigable for 
water craft is simply ridiculous. And yet a stand- 
ing source of fun and revenue for us up here is that 
Congress makes an annual appropriation of thou- 
sands of dollars 'to impove the navigation of New 



156 THE LAST MAN 

River,' The money comes regularly, and we 
mountain people earn and get it by taking powder, 
fuse, drills and crowbars and blowing to pieces 
some of these big boulders down there ! Ha, ha, 
ha! 

"Now I will give you the 

" 'legend of the hawk's nest.' 

"Thousands of moons ago there lived and 
hunted in the country on this side of the river a 
powerful tribe of Indians, whose chief, Towanda, 
had a beautiful daughter, Agalla, 'she of the pout- 
ing lips.' Her eyes, black and sparkling, her hair 
reaching to the ground, and her limbs lithe and 
active as a roe, she attracted may suitors. 

"On yonder side of the river lived, hunted and 
fished another tribe, whose chief had a son, Illo- 
gah, 'the swift of foot,' who was trained in all In- 
dian craft, cunning and lore, and who, when his 
father should die and go to the land of the Great 
Spirit, would become chief of the tribe. The two 
chiefs, owing to the existence of frequent disputes, 
feuds, lights and forays between the members of 
their tribes, had held many pow-wows looking to a 
union of the tribes, which would settle all these 
troubles and render the new tribe the most power- 
ful in all this mountain region. All plans for a 
union had failed, when it suddenly occurred to 
both chiefs that the marriage of the daughter of 
one to the son of the other would bring about 



"THE HAWK'S NEST" 157 

the desired union. In token of their approval of 
the plan, they each pledged the other his influence 
and assistance to bring about the marriage, and 
they shook hands and smoked the pipe. 

"From that day Illogah became a suitor for the 
heart and hand of Agalla. But she, like many 
other maidens before and since, refused the ad- 
vances and presents of Illogah, because she loved a 
young warrior of her own tribe, was plighted to 
him, and would marry him as soon as she could 
gain her father's consent. 

"When her father, intent upon the marriage to 
Illogah, would try to show her the advantages of 
such an alliance, and that she would become queen 
of the united tribes, her heart would sink, her 
eyes would droop, her tongue would refuse to 
speak, and her whole frame would tremble. The 
father was annoyed at her behavior, non-committal 
as it was. She who never before had failed to re- 
spond with joyous alacrity to his requests, and 
even his unspoken wishes, now stood silent, still 
and unmoved. Either she loved some other one, or 
she had an uncontrollable distaste for Illogah. 
Which was it? He set spies — old squaws — to 
watch her goings and comings, but no sign, word 
or movement betrayed that she loved, or who the 
lover was, if one existed. The father, concluding 
that her mood was alone due to an aversion for 
Illogah, determined that such a feminine fancy and 
weakness, as he regarded it, should not longer pre- 
vent the consummation of his design. At the 



158 THE LAST MAN 

same time, despite the watchfulness of her father 
and the spies, the lovers would meet, at dead of 
night, when all others slept, and exchange words 
and tokens of regard, the skin of a fur-bearing ani- 
mal from him, or a pair of beaded moccasins from 
her. lUogah now pressed his suit with greater 
vigor, but she flung his presents at his feet and 
turned from him in disgust and anger. Her father, 
from being kind and reasonable, now became harsh 
and dictatorial, and swore that she should marry 
Illogah, and fixed the day for the marriage. He 
invited the young man's father, and the principal 
braves, and his own braves to be present. That 
night Agalla saw her lover, told him the sad 
tidings, and vowed never to wed Illogah. She 
would either kill him or kill herself. She would 
try first to kill him. Next evening the unwelcome 
suitor came, as usual, and reminded her of their 
approaching marriage, and besought her to love 
him. She hesitated, smiled, looked upon him as 
never before, and said : 'Illogah, I have never 
thought I could love you, but if you will do what 
I ask, I will try to love you.' He sprang forward 
and begged her to name it. There is a hawk's 
nest in the face of the cliff yonder,' said she, 'about 
half way from top to bottom, and young hawks, 
almost ready to fly, are in the nest. I would hke 
to have them for their feathers and claws.' 'But 
how can I get them,' he asked. 'Make a ladder of 
grape vines long enough to reach from the top of 
the cliff to the nest below,' said she ; 'come, some 



"THE HAWK'S NEST" 159 

dark night, when the camp and the hawks are still, 
fasten the ladder at the summit of the cliff, drop 
it over the ledge, go down the ladder, get the 
birds, climb up the ladder, and I will be at the top 
to receive them.' 

"To this adventurous but daring plan Illogah 
assented gladl}^, enthusiastically. He would do 
this or die in the attempt. 

"About a week later he stole quietly into the 
camp at night, carrying a great load of vines, made 
into a ladder. She was there, and together they 
hid the structure in a clump of thorn bushes, to 
wait for a darker night. It came soon, and he 
and the maiden strolled to a point near the con- 
cealed ladder, no one paying attention to them, as 
he had been there so often. They waited an hour, 
two hours, till all was quiet, except an owl that 
shouted at intervals from a tree near by, 'Who ! 
who ! to who who !' 

"Looking about cautiously, they felt sure that 
no one saw them. Then he drew from its hiding 
place the ladder, dragged it to a point on the cliff 
which he had previously marked in daytime, 
fastened the two strong strands to saplings two 
or three feet apart, and dropped the ladder over 
the ledge. Then tying a blanket about his shoul- 
ders, he boldly began his descent. Agalla, and 
another, lay listening intently. At last they hear 
the screaming of the birds below, old as well as 
young. The supreme moment has come. The 
gleam of two tomahawks, sharp and keen, flashes 



160 THE LAST MAN 

through the darkness; the weapons fall with ter- 
rible force, and their edges sever in twain the 
strands of the ladder, which disappears over the 
clifif with lightning-like velocity. The next mo- 
ment there comes upward a prolonged, agonizing 
shriek, then the noise of a dull crash, and all is 
silent, save the voice of the owl that again shouts, 
'Who ! who ! to who who !' The maiden and her 
lover spring to their feet, flee lightly and swiftly as 
deer pursued, and before morning have placed be- 
tween them and their tribe a full day's journey. 

"When morning came the camps of both tribes 
were in terrible commotion. The young man, 
Illogah, had not returned to his chieftain father 
from his last night's visit to Agalla, across the 
river. Where was he? Had anything befallen 
him? The maiden Agalla was missing. Where 
was she? One of the warriors of her tribe was 
missing. Where was he? A rapid, vigorous 
search was made in each camp. No ponies nor 
blankets had disappeared. Only the apparel of 
the maiden, and the tomahawk, bow and arrows 
and blanket of the missing warrior had vanished. 

"A deputation from the other tribe came over 
in search of Illogah. No one had seen him since the 
previous evening, in company with Agalla. No 
trace of him could be found. A wider and more 
thorough search was ordered. On the second 
day a party of searchers came to the spot at the 
bottom of the cliff where lay the crushed, mangled 
body of Illogah, amid a mass of grape vines. 



"THE HAWK'S NEST" 161 

around his neck and shoulders was a blanket, and 
within its folds were several young dead hawks, 
and above, circling about, disconsolate and scream- 
ing, were the parent birds. 

"Evidently the young brave had constructed the 
ladder, fastened it at the top, climbed down it and 
captured the birds, when the ladder broke and he 
fell and was killed. How happened all this, and 
why ? Ah, wait ! One of the searchers examines 
the ends of the ladder. The vines had not broken, 
but had been cut by a sharp instrument. Light 
began to dawn. Who cut off the vines ? Tliey 
reported the result of their search to their chief. 
He sent runners to the camp of Chief Towanda to 
inform him of the event, and urge him to hunt for 
and find the murderer of his son, 

"Chief Towanda ordered a most exhaustive 
search to be made for the missing warrior and his 
daughter, but nevermore did he learn whither they 
had gone, or what became of them. 

"Undoubtedy the missing warrior had cut the 
grapevine ladder and he and Agalla had run away. 
Towanda reported the facts to the other chief, the 
bereaved father, but, none the less, he accused 
Chief Towanda and his tribe of the murder of his 
son. Cruel, unrelenting war between the two 
tribes followed, and, after twenty years, the chiefs 
and nearly all the warriors were dead, and both 
tribes became extinct. 

"Agalla and her lover traveled many nights, and 
hid through the days, following along the eastern 
11 



162 THE LAST MAN 

base of the Blue Ridge, in a southwesterly course, 
hoping at length to reach some other tribe, far 
away, where they would be safe from pursuit and 
capture by parties which they surmised would fol- 
low them. 

"After forty or more days and nights of travel, 
fear and fasting, footsore and exhausted, they 
reached one of the lodges of the Cherokees, a pow- 
erful family of Indians in northern Georgia and 
Alabama. They were admitted as members, and 
their children's children formed part of that sad 
procession which, a generation ago, made a forced 
and unwelcome migration to what is now known 
as the Indian Territory. Their descendants now 
form an integral part of the Cherokee Nation." 

The narrator ceased. 

"Well, sir," said Colonel Boyd, "that is one of 
the most thrilling Indian stories I ever heard or 
read. Can you vouch for its truthfulness?" 

"No," said the hotel man, "I have heard it often 
as 'The Legend of the Hawk's Nest,' and have 
given it to you as I received it." 

Said Mrs. Boyd: 

"It is very interesting, but very cruel, though. 
What do you regard as the moral, or lesson, of the 
story ?" 

"Can't say as to that, madam, but mebbe one 
lesson is this — that a designing man may, now and 
then, trap a trusting woman, but a designing wo- 
man can always trap a man." 

Though a hearty laugh followed this sally. 



"THE HAWK'S NEST" 163 

the little woman was equal to the occasion, and 
retorted : 

"There are hosts of men trying to entrap women, 
to one woman who tries to entrap a man. Men 
don't need to be entrapped. They just come and 
are caught, without trap, bait or decoy." 

Another shout of laughter greeted this womanly 
defense, and with it the sitting ended. 

As they rose to return to the hotel, in the dusk 
of the evening, an owl, perched on a lofty tree 
close at hand, shouted, "Who ! who ! to who ! 
who !" 



XV. 

LIGHT AHEAD. 

Another influence that aided Boyd in returning 
to a primal, rational condition was derived from 
active participation in the work of the Grand 
Army of the Republic. In the years of his pros- 
perity he had joined that body, and had filled, in 
succession, all the higher official positions in his 
post. The discharge of his duties, though faithful 
and according to the ritual, was perfunctory rather 
than heartfelt. But now, since he had drunk to 
the dregs the cup of bitterness and loss, he saw and 
felt the force of the cardinal principles, "Frater- 
nity, Loyalty, and Charity." Especially was he 
moved by the last, "Charity." "But the greatest 
of these is Charity" became a living, active, domi- 
nating force, impelling him to deeds in behalf of 
needy comrades and the widows and orphans of 
those who had fallen. Not a day passed that he 
did not seek opportunities to fulfill this obligation, 
and his name and fame became known throughout 
the entire State. "Virtue is often its own reward," 
but in this case it brought other rewards. 

If it be true that 

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune," 



LIGHT AHEAD 165 

it is quite as true that there are times in the lives 
of some men when they seem to come to the close 
of their careers. As a traveler through a dense 
forest follows the road, broad, plain and well 
beaten at first, until, little by Httle, it becomes nar- 
row, dim and untraveled, and at last fades out 
altogether, and he is lost, and without compass, 
chart or guiding star, so it had been with Colonel 
Boyd. What to do, in what to embark, how to 
earn a livelihood, became the foremost topics of 
his thoughts and conversations with his wife. He 
had reached the end of the road and was lost. 

At this juncture a committee of delegates to a 
county convention to nominate candidates for vari- 
ous offices asked to put Boyd's name in nomina- 
tion for representative to the Legislature. He de- 
clined at first, but, won over by their importuni- 
ties, he consented, was nominated on the first bal- 
lot, and elected by a large majority. When he 
came home and told Mrs. Boyd, she was too full 
to speak, but flung herself upon him and wept 
tears of gratitude to God and man. "I always 
knew," said she, when she could speak, "that you 
were looked up to by men, and this is the proof of 
it, and I think it is the beginning of a grand ca- 
reer." In such manner loving wives think and 
speak of their husbands, going even farther than 
this at times. If the talents and abilities of hus- 
bands are not appreciated and rewarded, wives are 
prone to think and say that it is owing to envy or 
inexcusable stupidity. 



166 THE LAST MAN 

At the appointed date the Legislature met, and 
its session progressed and closed without any note- 
worthy occurrence. It is needless to say that 
Colonel Boyd did his whole duty to the State, to 
his constituents, and to himself, in the order 
named. Thus did the great heroes of antiquity, 
and of modern times, and thus did the fathers of 
the Republic. But recently a new era of thought, 
motive and action has begun. Now the rank and 
order of motives and acts of many — too many — 
Representatives, and even Senators, of the United 
States is, first, self; second, their constituencies; 
and third and last, the country and its interests. 
Herein consists the distinction between a states- 
man and a politician : 

A statesman is, first of all, a patriot ; next, he is 
possessed of natural and acquired abilities above 
the average of his fellow-men ; lastly, he has given 
much time and profound thought to the underly- 
ing principles of human governments in general, 
and of his own government in particular, including 
all its policies in behalf of the people and toward 
foreign nations ; and, in all, he "would rather be 
right than be President." He joins and co-oper- 
ates with a political party because it professes and 
adheres to certain principles which he regards as 
essential to the existence and perpetuity of the 
government and the interests and vested rights of 
the people. 

A politician is a man of average, or less than 
average, natural and acquired abilities, but en- 



IJGHT AHEAD 167 

dowed with a certain kind of smartness which leads 
him to espouse the alleged beliefs of one or another 
political party, for the purpose of securing office, 
or emoluments through the votes or influence of 
the party. His principal talent is that of the "hand- 
shaker," the "good mixer," or the "spellbinder." 
If he secures the coveted office, whether by fair or 
foul means, he hesitates not to misrepresent, de- 
ceive and defraud his constituents when his per- 
sonal ends and interests run counter to the inter- 
ests of the people. Almost any man can be a poli- 
tician ; only one man in a million can be a states- 
man. Heaven creates a statesman ; political par- 
ties make politicians. 

All this, and more, Boyd soon saw and felt. To 
be a statesman he knew he was lacking in several 
indispensable requisites ; to become a mere politi- 
cian, he was sincerely indisposed. So that when 
his friends wished to re-elect him he firmly and 
positively declined, showing by that step alone that 
he was not a politician. 

Directing his attention once more to his finan- 
cial condition, and studying several enterprises 
which invited capital, his friend Boone and he de- 
cided to risk some money and labor in prospecting 
for petroleum. Securing leases on two small farms 
in the oil territory, they bought the outfits and 
began "putting down" two wells, one on each 
farm. Thus, if one should prove a success and the 
other a failure, they would be the gainers. After 
weeks of toil and expense, suddenly the ponderous 



168 THE LAST MAN 

drill in one of the wells dropped several feet, a 
mighty volume of gas rushed up through the ori- 
fice, carrying with it the drill and all its attach- 
ments, and, after several hours, there flowed forth 
a stream of petroleum mingled with water, spout- 
ing many feet above the top of the well. 

Men engaged on the other wells in the vicinity 
came to the assistance of Boyd and Boone's men, 
and with picks, shovels and hands a strong dam 
of wood, stone and earth was constructed across 
the ravine below the well. Within the next two 
days the owners had a fortune, and fierce excite- 
ment pervaded the entire section of country. The 
well continued to flow at a rate almost equal to 
its initial product, and money flowed into the cof- 
fers of the owners. Stranger still, because un- 
looked for, and unexpected, the other well "came 
in," and, though not a "gusher," was prolific 
enough to be a fortune in itself. 

The tide had evidently turned in Boyd's favor. 
With money came respect, and what the world calls 
honor. What a greedy age is this. Ages of hero- 
ism, of conquest, of art and letters, the grandest 
the world has ever seen, or may see, have come and 
gone. But the present age, especially the present 
century, has witnessed the most gigantic strides in 
inventions and improvements in the domestic and 
the useful arts and sciences, beyond all record in 
past centuries. And yet, coupled with this, and 
seemingly a part of it, is a ravenous, insatiable 
spirit of greed, never before existing. In nearly 



LIGHT AHEAD 169 

every undertaking the paramount question is, 
"Will it pay?" while that other question, "Is it 
honest and legitimate?" is partially, if not totally, 
ignored. The almost universal appetite is for 
money, or property, which is the key to social 
standing, power, influence, and undemocratic hau- 
teur and exclusiveness. So widespread and all- 
controlling is this false notion, that it condones the 
deeds of the scoundrel, the mountebank, and the 
criminal ; elevates to positions of honor and respon- 
sibility — where brain, culture and principle alone 
are essential requisites — the ignorant, insolent mil- 
lionaire; and, not halting at that, even seats in the 
high places of the temples of God men whose char- 
acters are besmirched with foul deeds and esca- 
pades, and their reputations notorious and mal- 
odorous. 

Money — its possession — is not an evil. It is 
"the love of money," for what it will purchase, that 
is "the root of all evil." A man is not the worse 
for being the owner of millions, honestly acquired 
or inherited. Controlled by right motives, he is 
the better for having wealth. To develop the re- 
sources of a country; to organize and promote 
industries ; to cause two blades of grass to grow 
where only one had grown; to make "the wilder- 
ness blossom as the rose," and, by such measures 
and means, increase the sum of human happiness — 
these are laudable objects to which a wealthy man 
may devote his money and his attention. But to 
make, or hoard money, for itself, is, per se, an act 



170 THE LAST MAN 

indefensible from any standpoint, whether of ethics, 
philanthrophy, or good citizenship. 

Somewhat of these views began to occupy and 
engross Boyd's attention. The quahties of the 
man and his convictions inspired him to do some- 
thing for humanity. He knew from sad experience 
what was the pinch of poverty; now kind heaven 
was showering upon him afifluence. He had now 
in possession far more than he and his wife would 
require, however long they might live. What 
should he do with the residue, and with future accu- 
mulations? Half-formed plans on the subject be- 
gan to present themselves. But first, and properly, 
too, he chose to buy and furnish a comfortable, 
perhaps elegant home. Mrs. Boyd was consulted 
in this matter, and she, happy woman, recalling the 
time and place of their marriage, favored the Capi- 
tal as their permanent home, with which choice he 
coincided. For this purpose they visited Wash- 
ington, examined several properties, and selected 
and bought a residence surrounded by a spacious 
lot, upon an elevation overlooking the whole city. 
Southward could be seen miles of the Potomac, the 
hills of Virginia, from Great Falls to Mount Ver- 
non, the historic home of the Lees at Arlington, 
the spires of Alexandria, the eastern branch of the 
Potomac, Anacostia, Providence Hospital, and 
Saint Elizabeth beyond ; and to the northeast, the 
Soldiers' Home, the Catholic University, and the 
beautiful suburb of Brookland. And in the center 
of this extensive panorama rose that square, 



LIGHT AHEAD 171 

white, silent shaft, Washington's Monument. It 
is an inspiring picture ; not wild, it is true, nor 
tame, it is equally true, but rich, rare, and gratify- 
ing to the senses and to the most exalted aesthetic 
taste. Home at last ! "Home, sweet, sweet 
home !" When June came with its roses and bird 
songs they entered this earthly paradise, wherein 
for years, hospitality, ease, elegance, and, above all 
these, charity, in its broadest, sweetest sense, were 
illustrated and personified. 

Now that the domestic problem was solved, came 
up that other subject — what to do for the age and 
humanity. In the discharge of his duties as an 
officer in the Grand Army, Colonel Boyd had often 
seen, among the ex-soldiers, and widows, and 
orphans, suffering, want, disease, and penury. 

It came to him slowly, but not the less convinc- 
ingly, that something more, something new, per- 
haps, should be done to enable thousands of these 
partly infirm and almost penniless men to maintain 
themselves. Many of them were young farmers, 
mechanics and laborers when the country's call 
summoned them to her defense. Disease, wounds, 
loss of limbs, and impairment of vital powers had 
forever disqualified them for successful competi- 
tion in the struggle of life and participation in the 
more lucrative pursuits. True, there were "Sol- 
diers' Homes," both State and National, but to be 
an occupant and beneficiary of these or any other 
eleemosynary institution is almost certain death to 
all honorable ambition. "Abandon hope all ye 



172 THE LAST MAN 

who enter here" might well be inscribed over the 
portals of all such institutions. 

A scheme presented itself which, if feasible, would 
to a great extent mitigate, and, in many cases, 
completely remedy the ills of thousands of old sol- 
diers and their families. If a colony could be es- 
tablished in a favorable location, with a guarantee 
as to the safety of personal property rights and in- 
terests, and at small cost, many would probably be 
attracted to the enterprise and join it. As Boyd's 
mind became imbued with the scheme, other ques- 
tions arose, such as the cHmate, soil, products, the 
State or Territory in which the colony should be 
planted, and access to the seaboard, rivers and rail- 
roads. To found and conserve the wants and in- 
terests of such a colony would require a large tract 
of land, well watered, heavily timbered, rich in soil 
and mineral deposits, and situated in a mild, equa- 
ble climate, not subject to great extremes of heat 
and cold, and exempt from floods and seasons of 
drought. 

To obtain data on these points, a deal of corre- 
spondence was had with Governors of States, 
judges. Members of Congress and other intelligent 
men, and, out of it all, there was evolved a conclu- 
sion as to the State in which the colony should be 
established. 

A circumstance connected with the estate of 
Aunt Milgrove, now deceased, must be intro- 
duced. On opening her last will and testament it 
was found that her farm in Alabama had been de- 



LIGHT AHEAD 173 

vised to Boyd and his wife. Here was a key to 
the situation, provided the farm was suitably 
located, and additional lands could be bought at a 
moderate price. With the deed and certain corre- 
spondence in hand, he visited the farm, examined 
the records, and had them amended to show that 
he and Mrs. Boyd were now the owners. The farm 
was situated in the northern central part of the 
State, a short distance from the foot hills of the 
Allegheny range. A proposal on the part of the 
State was before him to sell to responsible parties 
one hundred thousand acres, more or less, in a 
solid body, at a low price and on favorable terms, 
for the founding of a colony. 

In conjunction with several ex-soldiers, pos- 
sessed of ample means, the purchase was made, and 
deeds and records of the transaction duly executed. 
Boyd and his wife then deeded to the company 
their farm, without price or compensation. 

Several newspapers of wide circulation published 
the facts in detail, with the names and addresses of 
the authors and promoters of the colony. A 
voluminous correspondence between them and 
thousands of soldiers ensued. The plans of 
the owners were approved and hailed by all, but 
especially by those who had been farmers, me- 
chanics and artisans, and very many announced 
their intention to become members and residents. 
Boyd and his partners felt assured of the success 
of the undertaking, and necessary measures and 
steps were taken for the surveys, platting, number- 
ing and recording of lots and famis. 



XVI. 

THE WANDERER'S RETURN. 

The inauguration of a President brings an im- 
mense concourse of people to the Capital. On 
such occasions from two to three hundred thou- 
sand strangers have been housed, fed and other- 
wise accommodated. So wide and unobstructed 
are the avenues and streets, and so experienced are 
the keepers of hotels, boarding houses and other 
hostelries that all visitors are royally treated, and 
return to their homes to sound praises of the city 
and its appointments. 

At the designated hour a procession, limited in 
numbers, conducts the newly elected President 
and the retiring one, to the Capitol, where the for- 
mer takes the prescribed oath of office, and then, 
standing on the east portico of the building, deliv- 
ers his inaugural address. Now the popular part 
of the fete begins. The new President and the ex- 
President return to the White House, followed by 
a vast procession, composed of detachments from 
the Army and the Navy, portions of the national 
guards from several States, veterans of the G. A. 
R., sons of veterans, and civic organizations with- 
out number — the entire line often being from five 
to ten miles in length. The new President, stand- 
ing on a platform at the front of the White House 



THE WANDERER'S RETURN 175 

grounds, reviews the procession, which disbands 
in sections, after passing and saluting him. 

Of this kind, and on this order, was a certain 
inauguration in the eighties. After it had ended, 
and Colonel and Mrs. Boyd and several visiting 
friends had returned to the house, there came hob- 
bling up the parking in front a man, supported by- 
one sound leg and a peg attached to the knee of 
the other leg, the lower portion of which was want- 
ing. He was, seemingly, thirty-five or more years 
old, his hair and beard were long and shaggy, his 
clothing was shabby and more than half worn, and, 
surmounting all, was an ancient, broad-brimmed, 
gray slouch hat. A servant, answ^ering the door 
bell, was asked by this man whether Colonel Boyd 
lived there. Being informed affirmatively, he ex- 
pressed a v^sh to see the colonel. The servant 
reporting the fact to Boyd was asked what the man 
wanted and what his name was. "He didn't give 
his name and didn't tell his business," said the ser- 
vant. Boyd went to the door and, looking the 
stranger full in the face, said : 

"Well, sir, what can I do for you ?" 

"Are you not Colonel Boyd that I saw at White 
House Landing in June, 1864?" asked the man. 

"I am Colonel Boyd, and who are you?" in- 
quired Boyd. 

"Don't you remember me ?" asked the seedy one. 

Looking at him sharply, Boyd rushed to him, ex- 
claiming, "As I am living, it is — Bertrand Long, so 
long lost !" 



176 THE LAST MAN 

Grasping an arm and hand, Boyd led him into 
the hallway, the two men hugged each other, and 
stood for moments speechless, while dewy eyes 
attested the depth of emotions ''too big for utter- 
ance." 

Mr. Long broke the silence. "Where is Sis?" 

"In the house here? Do you know who she is 
now, Bertrand ?" asked Boyd. 

"No, tell me," said Long. 

"She is Mrs. Boyd — my wife — and you are my 
brother, Bertrand !" 

"How long ago were you married?" pursued 
Long. 

"In the fall of 1865. We lived in West Virginia 
for several years, and have been living here since 
then. But you want to see Alena." He touched 
an electric bell, a servant came, and Boyd said, 
"Ask Mrs. Boyd to come to the library." Then to 
Long, "Now, Bertrand, when she comes don't 
speak till I give you a sign or word. Here she 
comes." 

Stealing a timid glance at the stranger, she 
waited for Boyd to speak. 

"Mrs. Boyd," said he, "have we a vacant room 
and bed for this man to-night? He seems ex- 
hausted and sick, perhaps, and if we can it will be 
the right thing to shelter and take care of him till 
to-morrow." 

"Yes," said she, "there are two rooms on the 
third floor ; give him one of them." 

The stransfer was ill at ease as these words were 



THE WANDERER'S RETURN 177 

exchanged between husband and wife, and produc- 
ing a handkerchief appHed it to his face and eyes. 

"Mrs. Boyd," said the colonel, his voice quiver- 
ing somewhat, "have you ever seen this man be- 
fore?" 

"No, I think not," said she. 

"Look at him closely," said Boyd ; "he may have 
seen you during the war." 

"I do not remember seeing him then, or at any 
other time," said she. 

"Stranger," said Boyd, "tell her where and when 
you saw her." 

"Standing in the door of a hospital near Rich- 
mond, after the battle of Gettysburg," said the man. 

Alena sprang to her feet as though shot up by 
a charge of dynamite. She stood transfixed. His 
voice revealed all. Then, with an impulsive bound, 
she rushed to him, threw her arms about him, 
kissed him again and again, crying and ejaculating, 
"O, my dear, dear, long-lost brother! Where 
have you been all this time? Why didn't you 
come to us sooner? Oh, Bertrand, what have you 
been doing ever since the war?" These and simi- 
lar words, punctuated with kisses, occupied many 
moments. The men were speechless before this 
revelation of long-pent-up, despairing, but now 
ardent, ebullient, sisterly love. 

"Bertrand," said she, "I mourned you as dead 
long, long ago, and now as I look at you I feel 
just as though you had been dead, and were now 

12 



178 THE LAST MAN 

resurrected." What a meeting! Aye, it was in- 
deed a resurrection of dead hopes and memories. 

"Come, now, Bertrand," said Boyd, "go Vv^ith 
me to your room and wash and brush up for din- 
ner, and this evening you and Alena and I will 
come here and you will give an account of your- 
self." Bertrand was soon alone in a room more 
completely furnished than any he had ever seen. 
What with the purifying and beautifying influ- 
ences of soap, water, towels, combs and brushes, 
the man's appearance was sensibly improved when 
he returned to the library. The three, Alena lead- 
ing the brother, repaired to the dining hall and 
broke bread together for the first time. The 
guests at other tables wondered and speculated as 
to the status of the stranger, so unlike the colonel 
and Mrs. Boyd, in both dress and address. Enough, 
though, to see that he was in some way intimately 
associated with them. Dinner over, the colonel 
made his excuses to the guests for the evening, 
and returned with the brother and Alena to the 
library. "Now, Bertrand," said he, "tell your 
story." 

"Well, Colonel," began the brother, "after I left 
you at White House, Virginia, we were shipped 
to New York, and then to Edenton, where we were 
put into a camp for prisoners, and kept there till 
March, 1865, when we were shipped back to Vir- 
ginia again, were exchanged, and rejoined our 
commands. 

"W'hile prisoners, we had a jolly time, plenty to 



THE WANDERER'S RETURN 179 

eat, good quarters, and nothing to do but keep 
the camp clean and wash our clothes. I hadn't 
been there a month till my warlike spirit began to 
weaken, and in two months I began to wish I 
might never be exchanged, and stand up again to 
shoot, and be shot at. I learned from the soldiers 
who guarded us that the Government was deter- 
mined to put down the 'rebellion,' as they called 
it, and that there were still a million or more men 
who had not yet been in the service. They said all 
this without bragging, and in such a cool, calculat- 
ing way that my fiery spirit was greatly calmed, 
and I wished I was done with the war. But the 
spring of 1865 came, and we were in our camps 
and forts in and around Richmond, waiting for 
what was sure to come — for a common soldier is 
nothing but a pawn on a military chess-board, 
liable to be lost at the next move. 

"Well, sir, the signs of an attack on Richmond 
increased and we felt that the man then command- 
ing the Government armies — God bless him ! — 
had the Southern Confederacy by the throat, and 
would never let loose till General Lee's army 
should be no more. 

"You remember. Colonel, that I said to you, in 
1864, that 'the Yankee shell or bullet would never 
be fired that would hurt me,' and you told me I 
was fooHsh to talk so. And so I was. We were 
driven out of Richmond, followed, and finally 
hemmed in near Appomattox. The last fight was 
going on, and, all at once, I felt a dull shock in 



180 THE LAST MAN 

this leg, tottered and fell, and a look showed that 
my foot and ankle were shattered into fragments. 
Bye and bye the Yankees came and passed on, and 
then their surgeons and stretchers and ambulances, 
and a man accosted me, 'Say, Johnny, do you want 
to go along with us?' I said yes, for anything 
was better than to be left there alone. Then he 
and another man picked me up and put me into 
an ambulance with a wounded Yankee, and the 
vehicle moved on. Soon there was a great shout 
from the Yankee army, and the firing ceased. Gen- 
eral Lee had surrendered. After some time a 
surgeon came to our ambulance, looked at the 
Yankee's wound, put a bandage around his arm, 
and gave him a drink of whiskey. Then he 
looked at my foot, bandaged it, gave me a drink, 
and at leaving said, 'Johnny, do you want to live 
awhile longer?' I said, T certainly do.' Then he 
said, 'Then that foot will have to come ofif to- 
night.' In the evening he returned with two at- 
tendants, and after putting a new bandage on the 
arm of the wounded Yankee, they lifted me out 
of the ambulance, and, placing me on a table, gave 
me chloroform, and I knew nothing more till I 
came to my senses again. My foot and ankle were 
gone, I was very sick and weak, and thought I 
was going to die. The kindness and care of the 
Yankee nurses saved my life, and they have never 
been forgotten. In a few days I was put into a 
hospital with many wounded Union men, and was 
treated as well as the best of them. At the end of 



THE WANDERER'S RETURN 181 

three months I was quite well, and the surgeons 
told me I could go. I shook hands with all the 
boys, and started away on my good leg and this 
peg, which was made and fastened to my stump 
by a good-hearted Yankee. Where I was to go, 
I knew not. I hunted for Aunt and Sis all through 
Richmond, but failed to find them, and learned 
that they had gone South somewhere. I tramped 
all that summer, and was often nearly starved, and 
was soon almost naked. Sometimes the con- 
ductor of a freight train would let me ride forty 
or fifty miles, and give me something to eat. Then 
I would tramp again for some days. Finally I 
reached Montgomery, Alabama. I got a place 
with a man living a short distance out of town, to 
do light work and chores about the house and 
barn. It was a slave's place, but I had seen good 
people at my boyhood home, and over in Ohio, do 
such work, and I did it cheerfully. In a few 
months I was trusted with the teams and hauling 
for the farm, and made myself so useful to the 
man that he put my wages up several times with- 
out the asking. By his energy, industry and 
shrewdness his farm paid him big profits, and he 
was getting rich, while all his neighbors were 
poor. I saved some money, which, in a few years, 
amounted to quite a sum for a poor, lame, work- 
ing man. But last year Mr. Purvis died, his es- 
tate had to be settled, the farm, stock and utensils 
were sold, and I was homeless again. 

"There was nothing to do but to look for 



182 THE LAST MAN 

another place. But I found nothing that would 
compare with the old place. I kept on hunting 
and drifting further south till I reached New Or- 
leans. I hoped to get a place in some store or 
shop, where I would not be obliged to walk much, 
but I soon found I could not compete with sound 
men in active pursuits, or in hard labor, and, for 
want of a business training, I could not secure a 
place as a salesman. While jogging about, I went 
into a pawn shop, and was looking at things, when 
I spied a big, old-fashioned, queer-looking watch, 
without a case. By permission I examined it 
closely, and read some words engraved on it, 
which astonished me. Ah, here it is." He drew 
from an inside breast pocket a circular case or 
box, within which were the substantial parts of a 
watch. Boyd took it into a strong light and read 
these words : 

' ' Presented to the Margjiis de Lafayette i7i token 
of recognition of his distinguished services in the 
war for the independence of the United States of 
America. George Washington.'" 

It was now Colonel Boyd's turn to be aston- 
ished. The workmanship, dates and inscription 
showed that the watch was genuine and that it 
must have been presented to Lafayette while he 
and Washington were still living, probably between 
1 78 1 and 1799, the year of Washington's death. 

"Bertrand," said Boyd, "this is a great find ; 
rich, rare, and full of mystery. Keep it safe till 



THE WANDERER'S RETURN 183 

we have leisure, when we will try to ascertain the 
facts and circumstances. At present I want to 
hear the conclusion of your story." 

"Well," said Bertrand, "there is not much more 
to tell. I had been hoping all those years to see 
Washington some time. I was completely recon- 
structed and Yankeeized, though I didn't dare to 
say so, and was longing to see the old flag again, 
and stand beneath its folds as they fluttered in the 
breeze. I knew, or felt, rather, Sis, that you 
would marry the Colonel at the end of the war, if 
you were both alive, and he wanted you, and I 
began to imagine I might find you here during the 
inauguration. So I bought a ticket and came on, 
three days ago. I asked the hotel clerk whether 
he knew Colonel Boyd. 'Where does he live?' 
asked he. 'Why, here in this city, I think,' said I. 
'What is the street and number?' asked he. 'O, I 
don't know anything about your streets and num- 
bers,' said I, 'but I thought you might know him.' 
He opened a big book and turned to a page 
where there were a dozen or more of the name. 
'Here's your man, I reckon,' said he. 'Alfred 

Boyd, 223 Street, N. W.' He wrote the 

name and number on this piece of paper, and after 
the procession was done I started out to find you, 
and found you I have, thank God ! That's all." 

While he was talking Alena sat close to him, 
holding his hand, looking fixedly in his face, and 
often silently weeping. "Now let us go to the 
drawing room," said Boyd, and entering, Bertrand 



184 THE LAST MAN 

was introduced to the guests as a long-lost 
brother. This led to some conversation about the 
war, when it transpired that four of those present, 
Boyd, Bertrand, and two of the guests, had been 
at Chancellorsville. How they talked, these men 
of the Blue and the Gray — without animosity, or 
any feeling but that of a kind of fraternity or com- 
radery. 

Within a few days all the friends had gone, and 
Boyd, remembering his obligation and promise to 
Bertrand, began to devise plans for his advantage. 

The first thing was to ascertain whether an arti- 
ficial foot and ankle could be supplied and adapted. 
The efifort was successful, and within two months 
the man was walking comfortably and with a halt 
scarcely perceptible — thanks to the advanced state 
of surgical science and appliances. Soon his phy- 
sical condition, dress and personal appearances 
were so improved that he would never be taken 
for the poor, decrepit cripple who had stood at 
Colonel Boyd's gate, some months previous, look- 
ing for all the world like a tramp or vagabond. 

The next step was to devise some vocation by 
which the man could maintain himself, and thus 
preserve his self-respect and independence. 

In relation to the watch, Colonel Boyd called 
upon the Secretary of State, laid before him the 
circumstances under which the timepiece came 
into the hands of Mr. Long, and expressed his 
earnest desire, as well as that of Long, that it 
should be returned to the rightful descendant, or 



THE ^^ANDERER'S RETURN 185 

heir, of General Lafayette. The Secretary, appre- 
ciating the plain duty of the Government, and the 
propriety of the suggested return of the watch, 
proposed to purchase it for the United States and 
then open correspondence with the French Repub- 
lic, looking to its return to the rightful owner. 
But Long declined to set a price upon it, prefer- 
ring to present it to the Government, on the sole 
condition that he should receive a certificate from 
the Secretary of State, detailing the circumstances 
attending its recovery, which should be stamped 
with the great seal of the United States. Long's 
proposal was accepted, and after much corres- 
pondence through the French Ambassador, with 
his government, and a laborious search for the 
descendant of Lafayette to whom the watch would 
rightfully belong, it was sent to France, and is 
now in possession of Madam Montpensier, a great- 
granddaughter of the General. 



XVII. 
THE COLONY. 

The lands of the colony had been thoroughly 
surveyed, platted, numbered and recorded. A rec- 
tangle of twelve hundred acres was first located as 
the site of a city. The surface of this, as well as 
all the lands, sloped gently southward. Through 
the middle of the rectangle flowed two large 
brooks of purest, clearest, soft water, from great 
perennial springs, miles above, in the mountains. 
The brooks united just below the southern border 
of the rectangle, forming a stream of considerable 
volume, which, a mile or more further down, tum- 
bled over a ledge some twenty feet in height. The 
entire area was yet a virgin forest of pine, chest- 
nut, oak, poplar, cherry and other woods. In its 
center, above the junction of the brooks, there 
was described a circle of large diameter, within 
which should be erected the city hall. In addition 
to the streets, trending with the points of the com- 
pass, and crossing at right angles, there were wide 
avenues, cutting the streets at acute angles, and 
at their intersections were circles for the planting 
of statues, trees and flowers. 

Outside the plat for the city, the lands were 
divided into lots and small farms of five, ten, 
twenty, and forty acres, the largest being farthest 



THE COLONY 187 

from the city, and all so located that every lot had 
an outlet into a street or highway leading to the 
city. 

Every alternate lot and farm was reserved by 
the company for sale in the future, and four-fifths 
of the lots and farms to be offered were to be sold 
exclusively to ex-soldiers or their widows. The 
remaining fifth would be sold to merchants, trades- 
men and professional men. The price of each lot 
and farm was fixed, and, on its payment, and the 
signing of an agreement to erect on the lot either 
a residence or business house within two years, or 
forfeit the lot, the purchaser secured his posses- 
sion through a drawing by lot. 

Visitors, singly and in groups, came to see, to 
approve, and to purchase on these terms and in- 
ducements. 

The State laws and municipal regulations of the 
counties were to be faithfully observed. The orig- 
inal contract with the State prohibited the estab- 
lishment or existence of drinking houses, gam- 
bling dens, and other places of evil resort. For the 
same good reason, horse racing for money, prize 
fighting, and the like, were interdicted. Adher- 
ence to such conditions, it was admitted, would 
shut out an influx of certain classes of people, but 
it would as certainly shut out their vices, crimes 
and misdemeanors. 

Within six months more than a thousand sales 
had been made. In eighteen months three-fourths 
of all lots and tracts open to purchase had been 



188 THE LAST MAN 

sold. The owners and their famiUes were coming, 
many of them had come, and the sounds of axes, 
hammers, saws and anvils rang out in every direc- 
tion. Buildings rose as if by magic. Forests fell, 
and farms took their places. A saw mill, a planing 
mill, a brick manufactory, a machine shop, black- 
smith and carpenter shops, and other industrial 
plants were rapidly established. A population of 
more than two thousand was assured the first year. 
The second year saw a town of fifteen hundred in- 
habitants, surrounded by a population of more 
than five thousand, engaged in farming, gardening 
and fruit culture. The most improved methods 
and implements for land culture, first-class seeds 
and plants, and persevering attention to business 
showed surprising and gratifying results. Better 
stocks of horses, kine, hogs and poultry were in- 
troduced and propagated. A surplus of all pro- 
ducts in excess of ten per cent, over and above 
that which was used by the community, demon- 
strated the success of the enterprise. 

At the end of ten years every lot, and every 
acre, that could be bought was owned and im- 
proved, and the population of the city was between 
thirty and forty thousand. A grand city hall, pat- 
terned after the Capitol at Washington, a music 
hall with a seating capacity of several thousand, a 
free library of many thousands of volumes, a gal- 
lery of fine arts, four large churches of most mod- 
ern and complete construction, and a thoroughly 
equipped, adequate supply of school buildings, 



THE COLONY 189 

and a system of graded public schools, conducted 
on the latest and most approved methods, crowned 
and glorified the colonial enterprise. 

A literary club of high order was organized and 
maintained. Lecturers and literati of national re- 
nown, and musicians of world-wide repute visited 
and contributed to the culture and entertainment 
of the people. The post-office — "Boyd" — named 
after the projector, became what is known as a 
Presidential office after the second year. Manu- 
factories of iron, steel, machinery, cotton, and 
other fabrics sprang up, running their machinery 
with the water power derived from the falls below 
the city. Railroad companies extended their fines 
to the city and soon realized large profits. 

The entire scheme, from start to finish, was a 
most complete, practical solution and illustration 
of a semi-co-operative community, united in all 
things vital to its success, and independent in all 
else. A multitude of ex-soldiers and their families 
were rescued from a condition of penury and want 
and became not merely self-sustaining, but even 
well-to-do, many having comfortable bank ac- 
counts. 

One of the finest residences was built and fur- 
nished by Colonel Boyd, and here he and Mrs. 
Boyd lived a part of each year. Mr. Bertrand 
Long was a part of the family, and when Boyd and 
wife were absent he was in full control. He had 
been installed in a paying situation in the city hall, 
and, after a few years, married the widow of a 



190 THE LAST MAN 

Union soldier, and thus were the North and the 
South united a second time. 

There was one thought, or fancy, rather, in 
Boyd's mind which had not yet materialized. In 
an age when the memory of great events and great 
men is perpetuated in bronze, and marble, and 
monuments, why should there not be a memorial 
of some description erected to commemorate the 
existence of the aborigines, who had, for centuries 
— aye, for ages, perhaps — owned and occupied the 
country, before the whites came? Here, where 
the colony now existed, the Cherokees, Choctaws, 
Creeks, Shawnees and other powerful tribes had 
roamed, lived and hunted from time immemorial. 
When the white men of Alabama, Georgia and Mis- 
sissippi saw that the lands owned by Indians were 
the very best in these States, a sentiment grew up 
and became popular that the owners should be, 
by some means, dispossessed of their holdings. 
But solemn treaties existed between the Govern- 
ment and the Indians, guaranteeing- the lands to 
the latter and their descendants forever, and pro- 
tecting the whites against the tomahawk and scalp- 
ing knife of the Indian. What could, and should 
be done? How long are treaties binding? Just 
so long as both parties observe them. When, and 
under the provisions of what treaty, was the In- 
dian ever protected against the rapacity of the 
white man? One alone — that between the Qua- 
ker William Penn and certain tribes. The archives 
of the Government will show that all other treaties 



THE COLONY 191 

have been broken or treated with scant respect by 
the whites. 

The so-called Indian Territory of to-day is but 
a remnant of the domain ceded to the red man in 
exchange for his possessions in the States pre- 
viously named. Of this, slice after slice has been 
severed from the original, and even now clandes- 
tine designs exist to rob the Indian of what yet 
remains. 

Subscriptions having been secured for the requi- 
site amount, correspondence was had with a num- 
ber of sculptors, from whose models one by an 
eminent artist was chosen. The dedication of the 
monument was to be made a notable occasion. 
The governors of three States, with their oflficial 
families, and the President and his Cabinet, were 
invited to honor the event with their presence. 
The journals of the country published the coming 
festival. The beautiful spring day came, and with 
it came a motley multitude. In a campus full of 
native trees was a platform of ample dimensions, 
upon which sat the guests of honor. In the rear 
of the platform was a huddle of Indian tepees, 
within which was a delegation of the descendants 
of the aborigines, who had come hither in response 
to urgent friendly invitation and solicitation. The 
formalities of the day had progressed to the close 
of an elaborate oration by Colonel Boyd, ending 
with the words : "I now have the pleasure, fel- 
low-citizens, of presenting to you some fine speci- 
mens of the race that formerly owned all this coun- 



192 THE LAST MAN 

try, in whose memory we are soon to unveil yon- 
der monument !" Then to the taps of an Indian 
drum came on the platform, in single file, a score 
or more of men, women and children, in native 
costumes, a chief marching at the head of the line. 
They stopped, stood stone still for a few moments, 
gazed at the great, shouting audience, and, at a 
sign by the chief, assumed a squatting attitude. 
Boyd then gave a signal, the drapery conceaUng 
the monument was removed, and there stood, in 
the bright light, a beautiful square monument of 
red marble, some eighteen feet in height, by twelve 
feet at the base. On the summit was a group of 
lifelike bronze figures of Indians in pursuit of 
game. 

When the applause had subsided, Colonel Boyd 
introduced the chief, Miantanomi, President of the 
Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory. He rose and 
strode to the front of the platform, standing full 
six feet four inches tall, of perfect manly mold, 
and with a tinge of the white man's blood in his 
face. He spoke in a grand bass voice whose tones 
entranced his hearers. 

"White people ! In the name of all the red 
men, women and children, here and in our far-ofT 
home, I thank you for this great show, on this 
pretty day, at this happy spot ! I thank the big- 
h^rted white man who made this everlasting 
monument to the memory of my people, thou- 
sands of whom are sleeping beneath the leaves and 
grass of this beautiful country! This is the only 



^UE COLONY 193 

monument of the kind made by the white man. 
The red man never makes monuments. But he 
gave names to the mountains, lakes and rivers, and 
those names are his monuments. If white men 
will continue to use the names, the unwritten his- 
tory of the red man will live forever, proclaiming 
that here once lived and loved a brave, heroic race 
whose only crime was that their mode of living dif- 
fered from that of the white man so greatly that 
both races could not live together, and one or the 
other must leave the country to the other. The 
red man was more cunning, but the white man 
was the stronger, and the red man was compelled 
to leave the home and the graves of his forefathers 
and go to a new country, or stay and be killed by 
the white man. He chose to go, and for nearly a 
thousand moons has been in his new, and perhaps 
his last, home, beyond the great river. 

"I who stand before you, white men, am part 
Indian and part white man. My mother was a 
daughter of the chief of the Cherokees. A white 
man who was a great traveler, and very wise, came 
to us to study Indian modes of living, fell in love 
with my mother, adopted our habits, lived as In- 
dians live, and married my mother. I am his son. 
When my mother died, I became chief. I am 
proud of my office and my people. But I am 
more proud of my mother's blood than of my 
father's. Thousands of moons ago, a young brave 
and the daughter of the chief of his tribe ran away 
for love, because her father would not let them 
13 



194 THE LAST MAN 

marry at home. The young brave and the young 
woman traveled from a river called Kanawha to 
the Cherokee country, where we now stand. They 
joined the Cherokees, and their children married 
members of the tribe. My mother was a descend- 
ant of that young man and woman, and I am 
proud of it. 

"White men ! I am glad to have seen the home 
of my fathers. When I go back, I will tell my 
people all I have seen and heard here. The Creeks 
and Choctaws also shall hear of these things. 

"White people ! We may never see each other 
again. But when the last day comes, which your 
Great Spirit and our Great Spirit both say will 
come, when all people, red and white, will come to 
life again, these hills and valleys will be filled 
with a great multitude of both colors. Then, and 
not till then, the red man will have a standing on 
these lands on equal footing with the white man 
who took them from him. White people, farewell !" 

The colony still lives, and is Colonel Boyd's liv- 
ing monument. It flourishes in the midst of a 
community whose men, formerly armed enemies, 
are now staunch friends and patrons, mingling and 
trading with its people, intermarrying with them, 
and enjoying to the full their many superior 
advantages. Instead of written or chiseled inscrip- 
tions, the tongues and voices of thousands of bene- 
ficiaries and the citizens of an extensive surround- 
ing country, constitute Boyd's truthful, indelible 
biography. 



XVIII. 
THE BROKEN LINK. 

Thus had passed years of the choicest sweets 
and deHghts of human Hfe within the Boyd house- 
hold. But, about i88 — , Mrs. Boyd was suddenly 
seized by what seemed to be a slight ailment, 
which the family physician regarded as a harmless 
malady that would yield to treatment within a few 
days. Instead, however, the indisposition in- 
creased, became serious, and finally excited the 
apprehension of all, including the physician. Sev- 
eral weeks passed, and the patient grew steadily 
worse. Her appetite failed, the color faded from 
her cheeks and lips, her flesh wasted, her voice lost 
its strength and resonance, her eyes began to ex- 
change their sparkling brilliancy for a far-off, 
steady, introverted look, and, more serious than 
all else, she began to indulge the thought that, ere 
long, she should die. Physicians and her husband 
combated, with rarest skill and unremitting efforts, 
this phase of her condition. In vain. Daily, al- 
most hourly, she waned, and at last it became evi- 
dent that the residue of her life was limited. Her 
heart had now taken on an abnormal inactivity 
which presaged the inevitable result. 

She manifested no fear of death, but spoke often 
of it as an event that must come to her, as it would 
to all others. 



196 THE LAST MAN 

Perceiving that all were aware of her condition, 
she said to her husband : 

"My dear, where will you choose to bury me?" 

Avoiding the question, he said : 

"I had never thought of it, Alena." 

"But we ought to think of it, and decide about it, 
dear. Shall we not choose a place where you will 
come, bye and bye, and sleep by my side?" 

"O, yes, Alena," said he, "I have always wished 
that we might be interred side by side, but I have 
thought you would live to bury me." 

"Ah, that can't be," said she ; "it is otherwise 
ordered, and well ordered. Say, dear, where shall 
you be buried?" 

"Well," said Boyd, in tremulous tones, "I have 
always felt a desire to be buried in Arlington." 

"Then in Arlington let it be," said she. 

On another day she said : 

"You will probably marry again after I am gone, 
dear." 

"Never," said Boyd. "I could never love another 
woman as I have loved you, Alena, and I would 
never marry a woman that I did not love with my 
whole heart." 

"But you would be so lonely that you would 
better choose some good woman for whom you 
would have the highest degree of respect, and 
bring her here to enjoy this beautiful home, and 
abide with, and comfort you." 

"No, no," persisted Boyd, "I could not, and 
would not, entertain the thought for a moment. 



THE BROKEN LINK 197 

No, I shall remain single, if — you should leave me. 
But cheer up, dear, we are all hoping you will live 
many years yet, and perhaps lay me away." 

"Oh, no," said she, "that is settled, and I do pray 
that you will be ready when the time comes, which 
is not very far off, at the farthest. I have intima- 
tions from above that I am wanted there. Be 
ready, dear, as I am ready, when the angel comes." 

Her face took on a spiritual expression, and her 
voice, though weak, was cheerful, even musical. 

One afternoon, a few days later, as she reposed 
on her couch, robed in white, she held out her arms 
toward Boyd, and the next moment embraced him. 
With a strange but unspeakably happy expression 
on her face, and in her eyes, she said : 

"O, my dear love ! Don't be frightened ! The 
angel is here, and waits for me ! I have only one 
regret at going, and that is to leave you ! But you 
will come, too, before long, and then we shall be 
everlastingly happy and inseparable ! O, how I 
have loved you, sweet heart ! Never woman loved 
man more ! And my love for you and our dear 
sainted babes led me to love God ! I don't think 
I should ever have loved Him if it hadn't been for 
you, dear ! You know what a haughty, hateful and 
hating girl I was when we first met. But, from 
our first meeting, onward, I felt a strange, sweet, 
potent spell that calmed my turbulent temper, 
curbed my restless disposition, aroused prudence, 
and awakened 'charity for all, and malice against 
none.' Then, later, when we opened the doors of 



198 THE LAST MAN 

our hearts, and let the blessed Christ come in, and 
abide there, as He has ever since done, — Hark, 
dear ! A voice, inaudible to you, is calling me ! A 
vision, invisible to you, beckons me ! I know 
where I am going, dear ! You know, too ! Don't 
weep, my earthly idol ! When I am in Heaven, 
with the children, I will, if I may, still love you as 
now. Be ready, love, when the voice and the 
vision come to you !" 

The physician had come in noiselessly and unob- 
served. A tremor shook the fair sufferer's form ; 
she drew her husband's face down to hers, gave 
him one long, last kiss, whispered audibly, "Fare- 
well, love," and the life was ended. The angel 
had borne the gentle spirit back to its native 
heaven and nought remained but the cold, tenant- 
less tabernacle ! 

Three days later they deposited the sainted ashes 
in their receptacle at Arlington. 

From this blow Colonel Boyd never fully recov- 
ered. Not that life was hard or comfortless to him ; 
not that people were less kind and considerate ; 
not that there was a dearth of interest in human 
affairs to occupy his mind and heart ; but ever as he 
was engaged in efforts for the correction of wrongs 
and the amelioration of want or suffering, the 
image of that radiant being who, for so many years, 
had doubled his joys and halved his griefs, by shar- 
ing them, would present itself before him and 
beckon him onward. And the answer of his soul 
was that he would 



THE BROKEN LINK 199 

"So live that when the summons should come 
To join the innumerable host," 

He could 

"Wrap the drapery of his couch about him, 
And lie down to pleasant dreams." 

A few weeks after the translation of Alena, in 
pursuance of a well-considered plan, the first im- 
portant subject to which Colonel Boyd turned his 
attention was the "Civil Service of the United 
States," and certain reported violations of the let- 
ter and spirit of the law which had been enacted 
for its reformation and purification. 

"The Civil Service" is a term employed to desig- 
nate all those necessary official duties and func- 
tions for the Government which are not included 
in the military, naval, diplomatic and consular ser- 
vice. The duties are performed by an army of 
employees, originally appointed from the masses 
of the people ; and as the duties are multifarious, 
they have been classified, for the most part, in ac- 
cordance with the subject, or class of subjects, to 
which they relate ; — hence, several departments, 
such as the "Treasury," the "Interior," and "Agri- 
culture." At the head of each Department is 
placed an officer whose designation is Secretary, 
and who becomes responsible for the performance 
of the duties and labors of his Department. Un- 
der his direction a number of subordinates are 
appointed, such as Comptrollers, Commissioners, 
and the like ; and, beneath these in rank and sal- 



200 THE LAST MAN 

ary, are the great bodies of clerks and other opera- 
tives, under the immediate personal supervision 
and control of chiefs of divisions, as they are called. 
All these subordinates are chosen or appointed 
ostensibly on the ground that they are qualified by 
education, general knowledge, and good character, 
to enter upon, learn and perform with skill the 
duties of their several offices. 

In the early days of the Republic no exalted 
officer thought it proper to appoint or nominate 
for appointment to an office a warm personal 
friend because of such relation. One of the first 
four Presidents, when solicited to appoint a person 
to a place, invariably asked two pertinent ques- 
tions, "Is he honest?" and "Is he competent?" and 
upon the answers to these depended the official 
action. There was nothing of nepotism, and little 
of politics, in the service then, and so it remained 
until hunger and greed for offices, great and small, 
developed what was, and is yet, called the "spoils 
system," whereby the service was prostituted to 
the rewarding of political friends, henchmen and 
backers for their aid and services in political cam- 
paigns. "To the victors belong the spoils" be- 
came the motto of the party which succeeded to 
power, and from that time forward, for nearly fifty 
years, the civil service was, to a great extent, the 
refuge, and its perquisites the reward, of many 
persons whose principal — often their sole — quali- 
fication for the positions they sought and secured, 
was that of a devoted and even unprincipled service 



THE BROKEN LINK 201 

for a political party. This was the "spoils system," 
pure and simple, adequately illustrated. No wonder 
that the service suffered from incompetency, venal- 
ity, and dishonesty, and that it became a hissing 
and a by-word. 

Press and people began to enter protests against 
these abuses, but political bosses and bummers 
laughed them to scorn. 

"Revolutions never go backward." The good 
common sense of a large part of the people con- 
tinued to insist that a service which cost so much 
should command better talent and better work. 
The sentiment, like leaven, became so widespread 
and potent, that in the eighties Congress framed 
and passed "an Act to regulate and improve the 
Civil Service," which by the terms of the act, 
went into immediate effect. Favorable results soon 
followed, and, ere long, Representatives, and even 
Senators, became friends of the renovated service. 
The great political parties inserted in their plat- 
form a plank favoring "Civil Service reform." The 
service continued to improve, and yet, at the close 
of several years, there remained much to be done 
before it would be a complete system as intended 
by the law. It was at this juncture that Boyd 
began his efforts and investigations. 

An incident occurred which served to intensify, 
and render practical, his opinions and convictions. 
In all the years of Boyd's widower life, though 
genial and affable to all, he had quietly but steadily 
declined to be controlled by the mandates and fol- 



202 THE LAST MAN 

lies of society, so called, or to be inveigled in the 
meshes of any class or "set." Devices to entrap 
him into an alliance of marriage with this or that 
"rich, charming widow," or this or that "beautiful 
young belle, just out in her first season," utterly 
failed to produce any response. But in a case of 
suffering or helplessness, or injustice, his sensibili- 
ties were easily excited, and his efforts in the way 
of relief spontaneous and energetic. 

The bell rang, and a boy presented a note ad- 
dressed to Boyd, running thus : 

"No. 943 Street, 

Jan. 8, i8&— . 
"Dear Colonel Boyd : — 

"Having learned from many sources that you 
are a good friend to those who are in 
trouble, though an entire stranger, I venture 
to request that you will call, very soon, to hear of 
our trouble, and to see whether anything can be 
done. My oldest daughter, who for some years 
past, has been the mainstay and support of the 
family, — there are five of us, — was dismissed from 
her office, unjustly as we think, and a great, stout 
man from a distant State, who knows nothing 
about the duties of the position, has been put into 
her place. We are in want. Please come and see 
us. Very respectfully, 

"Mrs. R. a. Lane." 

Without a moment's hesitancy, Boyd accom- 
panied the boy to Mrs. Lane's home. Calling the 



THE BROKEN LINK 203 

daughter, a bright, accomplished young woman, 
the mother bade her relate the case. Presenting 
the letter of dismissal on account of "incompe- 
tency," as was set forth, Boyd asked her to explain 
fully the terms of "competency" and "incompe- 
tency," which she did in clear, lucid terms : 

"A record is kept in every Bureau of the effi- 
ciency of each employee, as estimated by the terms 
and conditions ordained by the President in an 
official order. This record is made out and enter- 
ed at the end of each calendar month, in books 
prepared for the purpose, and any employee is en- 
titled to take and preserve a copy of his record. If 
he falls below the minimum standard, for several 
months in succession, he is regarded as 'incompe- 
tent,' and is liable to reduction of his salary, or 
dismissal. If, however, he maintains a standing 
above the minimum, he is to be retained ; and if 
his average standing is very high, he is regarded 
as worthy of promotion to a higher salary. This 
is regarded as 'competency.' Here are copies of 
my record. Colonel, for every month in the last 
three years. I have never fallen below the mini- 
mum, and have nearly always approached the max- 
imum." 

"How could they dismiss you, Miss Lane, with 
such a record as this?" inquired Boyd. 

"That is the point. Colonel. I think there must 
be a mistake. Would you not think so ?" 

"And what of the man who took your place, 
Miss Lane?" 



204 THE LAST MAN 

"O, he is a new-comer, and never did any clerical 
work before, as I have learned." 

"Do you know of any other cases like yours?" 

"O, yes, several of them, within the past year." 

"Were they all discharged?" 

"Some were dismissed and others reduced in sal- 
ary." 

"And who took their places ?" 

"Outsiders, mostly ; some of them women." 

"Well, Miss Lane, if you will permit me to retain 
your papers, I will investigate the subject. I have 
learned from other sources that there are violations 
of the law and the Presidential order respecting 
the civil service, and I propose to look into the 
matter as every citizen has the right and privilege 
of doing." 

Needless to say that within a fortnight Miss 
Lane was restored to her position, and the man 
who had been foisted into her place and been draw- 
ing her salary was restored to liberty, and advised 
to apply to the Civil Service Commission for a 
certificate of qualifications and eligibility, as he 
had never passed that ordeal. While investigating 
Miss Lane's case, Boyd ascertained facts like 
these : 

That while the Civil Service Commission was the 
gateway into the service, the commission had no 
power to keep in place the competent and deserv- 
ing, nor to remove from the service those whose 
work or character fell below the standard contem- 
plated by the law ; 



THE BROKEN LINK 205 

That many employees were dismissed or reduced 
and others were appointed, or promoted, in viola- 
tion of the spirit, and even the letter of the Presi- 
dential orders ; 

That many chiefs of divisions had been in the 
habit of furnishing for the Secretary's eye and ac- 
tion, a "confidential report" of the standing of 
their clerks, which was never seen by them, — in- 
stead of the report entered in the books in obedi- 
ence to the regulations ; and that this so-called 
"confidential report" was often the basis upon 
which dismissals, reductions and promotions were 
made, as in the case of Miss Lane. 

To say that Colonel Boyd made faithful and un- 
ceasing efforts for the abatement of these and 
other wrongs and defects in the civil service were 
a truism. Nor was he alone. A band of noble 
compatriots of all parties and creeds participated 
in the contest. Whether by conferences with Sec- 
retaries, with the Civil Service Commission, with 
Presidents, with Senators and Representatives, 
they ceased not to wage untiring opposition to all 
these defects and deviations from the letter and 
spirit of the law, until the last vestige of corruption 
was exorcised and eliminated from the entire civil 
service. 



XIX. 

LENGTHENING SHADOWS. 

The year 1900 had gone, completing the nine- 
teenth century, the twentieth century had begun, 
and Colonel Boyd was now past middle age. He 
lived without care, except to look after the welfare 
of his colony, and his brother, Bertrand Long, to 
each of which he continued to make visits at least 
twice a year. 

The original colonists began to die rapidly, 
from age, rather than disease, and their sons and 
daughters, to whom the properties descended, in- 
termarried, often with the better class of the natives 
of the surrounding" country, until in time the popu- 
lation greatly exceeded all that had been antici- 
pated. Mr. Bertrand Long became not merely 
well-to-do, but even wealthy, and lived long 
enough to enjoy the presence of a family of several 
children, the youngest of which, in after years, 
when a young man, came to live with Colonel 
Boyd at the Capital. 

Boyd lived to see his hope fulfilled, and his 
efforts, with those of other progressive men, re- 
warded in the final establishment of a civil service, 
in fact as well as in name, upon a foundation as 
immutable as an Article of the Constitution. Un- 
der its provisions and operations no one properly 



LENGTHENING SHADOWS 207 

admitted to the service, true to his oath of office, 
faithful and efficient in the discharge of his duties, 
and upright in his habits, was exposed to the terror 
of removal from office, or reduction of his salary, 
so long as he remained physically and mentally 
competent for the service. 

Thus, at last, after a period of more than thirty 
years, was the civil service restored to the original 
JefTersonian requirements of honesty and com- 
petency. 

Government employees, instead of feeling and 
acting as strangers in a strange land, and living a 
species of Bohemian life, became staunch, reliable, 
prosperous citizens, and all kinds of real estate 
acquired fixed, unvarying values. The Capital 
grew, because it must grow. Its great public 
library, for whose establishment and endowment 
Colonel Boyd and others contributed large sums, 
became one of the foremost in the land. The pub- 
lic schools were, as they should be, not only the 
colleges of the people, but reliable nurseries for 
the universities. The old-time cheap wooden 
buildings, as well as the brick structures of a for- 
mer generation, gave way to elegant, spacious edi- 
fices, illustrating in their diverse structures all the 
principal styles of architecture in Europe. 

Years prior to 1920 all the street railways had 
become rapid transit, and had pushed their lines 
far into the surrounding States of Maryland and 
Virginia. The entire city, the Government build- 
ings, the churches and places of amusement, as well 



208 THE LAST MAN 

as hundreds of residences, were brilliantly lighted 
by electricity, generated at "Great Falls." The 
supply of water was derived from the same inex- 
haustible source, and was conducted through great 
sub-surface tunnels into vast reservoirs, after pass- 
ing through filters of adequate capacity. 

The beautiful statue of Liberty surmounting the 
dome of the Capitol had long since exchanged her 
black, sorrowful garment for a golden one, which 
glittered and sparkled by day in the sunlight, by 
night in the moonlight, and at other times, in the 
absence of sun and moon, her chaste form was 
rendered visible by a series of electric lights, whose 
effulgence was concentrated upon her through a 
system of convex lenses. 

But more wonderful and magnificent than all 
else was the memorial bridge across the Potomac, 
uniting the Virginia shore with the Capital. 
Though only a mile in length, it surpassed all other 
massive, ornate structures of its kind in the world. 
On each edge of the bridge, atop the coping, at 
regular intervals, stood statues of all the principal 
heroes of the several wars in which the Republic 
had been engaged, from the Revolution to the date 
of the construction. Interspersed with these were 
statues of all the Presidents, and many statesmen 
of renown. At night the bridge was illuminated 
by a multitude of incandescent lights, rendering 
every object plainly visible. At each end an arc 
of these lights, more than a hundred yards long, 
rose above and encircled the abutments. Between 



LENGTHENING SHADOWS 209 

midnight and morning the floor of the bridge was 
sprinkled and swept by machines, driven by elec- 
tric motors. Telephonic connections from shore 
to shore insured quick and sure transmission of 
orders and messages, official and otherwise. Above 
the summit of the arc, at the Capital end, stood a 
gigantic statue of Liberty, while at the Virginia 
end was an equally large statue of America, or the 
American freeman. Surmounting all, and cover- 
ing the entire structure, was a complete cover or 
canopy of thick, heavy, transparent glass, enlivened 
here and there by large historical panels. 

In the midst of such splendid environments, 
Colonel Boyd lived and grew old, grandly and 
gracefully, and at last became somewhat superan- 
nuated physically, though his mental faculties re- 
mained bright and active. Reminiscences of great 
men and great events furnished him themes for 
reflection and subjects for conversation with visit- 
ors of the younger generation who came habitually 
and often to hear his wonderful relations of the 
times now long past. He had been personally well 
acquainted with many of the military heroes and 
distinguished statesmen and judges of the preced- 
ing half-century, among whom were Lincoln, Sew- 
ard, Chase, Sherman, Thurman, Hendricks, and 
others whose names and deeds will live forever, 
and whose fame will shine as stars of the first mag- 
nitude in the historical firmament of the great Re- 
public. 

For several years Boyd's nephew, Charles Long, 
14 



210 THE LAST MAN 

the youngest son of Bertrand Long, now deceased, 
had lived with his uncle to take care of him, miti- 
gate his loneliness, and perform errands and offices 
requiring youth and activity. 

The young man was a law student in one of the 
universities. Reared in the South, he was expert 
in all the sports and diversions of that section, es- 
pecially the use of firearms. Thoroughly devoted 
to his uncle, and completely devoid of fear, the 
Boyd mansion was as well protected and defended 
as any residence at the Capital. 

When the arrangements for the spectacle de- 
scribed at the beginning of this volume were to be 
made, the old man aroused from his lethargy, be- 
stirred his limbs and his mind, and rendered most 
valuable advice to the committees having charge 
of the preparations. He alone could give authen- 
tic information regarding many things to be com- 
memorated on that occasion. And when the fete 
occurred, he, alone, stood in the presence of three 
generations to impersonate the heroes and the im- 
mortal deeds of the Glorious Past. 

Thus far in the progress of this story a seeming 
omission has occurred, which, though uninten- 
tional, will now be supplied. 

In the eighties, after Colonel and Mrs. Boyd 
had established their home in Washington, there 
came to the Capital a large body of excursionists 
from Richmond and other cities and towns of Vir- 
ginia, for the purpose of sight-seeing, with all that 
the term includes. 



LENGTHENING SHADOWS 211 

There were within their ranks many distinguished 
men and fair women, some of them authoresses, 
and some the descendants of long lines of illustri- 
ous ancestries. 

One afternoon a cab drove up and stopped be- 
fore the gate of the Boyd mansion. A man, seem- 
ingly of middle age, descended from the vehicle 
and entered the grounds, leaving the cab in waiting. 
Dressed in an elegant, light-colored suit, and 
sporting a becoming, fashionable hat, he reached 
and ascended the steps to the house, rang the elec- 
tric bell, and, a servant appearing, inquired for 
Colonel Boyd. Seating the stranger, the servant 
informed Mr. Boyd of the call of a strange gentle- 
man. 

On the colonel's appearing, the stranger arose 
and inquired whether he was Colonel Boyd. 

"I am he, and whom have I the pleasure of see- 
ing?" replied the colonel. 

"Do you not remember me?" asked the stranger, 
as a smile spread over his face. 

Looking sharply for a moment. Colonel Boyd 
sprang forward, rushed into the stranger's out- 
stretched arms, almost shouting, "Well, I declare ! 
You are no other than my dear army surgeon. Dr. 
Culp ! Of all men, you are the one I have been 
longing to see for the past twenty years. Come to 
the library. Doctor, I must have a long, long talk 
with you." 

"But," said the doctor, "I am obliged to limit 
my call to a few minutes, as the excursion of which 



212 THE LAST MAN 

I am a member will return to Richmond to-morrow 
evening, and there are yet many things we desire 
to see." 

"Don't say so, Doctor," said Boyd ; "send away 
your cab and stay for the evening, and the night if 
you will. There is another person in the house 
who, I know, should see you." 

"Who, Colonel?" 

"My wife, Doctor; she has heard a deal about 
you, and would never forgive me if I should let 
you leave the house without her seeing you and 
hearing you talk." 

"I am sure I can't imagine who she may be. 
Colonel." 

"My wife. Doctor." 

"Well, under such circumstances, I submit, as 
ladies almost always have their way," said the doc- 
tor. "I will discharge the cab." Walking to the 
gate for that purpose, he returned to find a lady of 
mature age and condition standing by the colonel. 

"My dear," said Boyd, "this is Dr. Culp, the sur- 
geon who treated me when a prisoner, and of whom 
I have spoken so often. Dr. Culp, this is my wife, 
whom you have met before, or may have heard of 
before." 

The two bowed and smiled, and Mrs. Boyd, ex- 
tending her hand, said : 

"Doctor, I am so glad to meet you again." 

Hark ! that voice ! And as he gazed with widely- 
opened eyes, a flash of intelligence overspread Dr. 
Culp's features and he exclaimed : "As I am a liv- 



LENGTHENING SHADOWS 213 

ing man, this is the identical Miss Long, the heroic 
little girl who was one of our hospital nurses ! Well, 
well, wonders never cease. I always knew, or felt, 
I should say, that you two would become one !" 

"Be seated. Doctor," said Mrs. Boyd, "and tell 
me why you thought and felt so." 

"Because," said he, "I felt that it ought to be 
so ; Colonel Boyd felt that it ought to be so ; and 
if you will permit me to say it, I felt that you felt 
that it ought to be so, madam." 

Hearty laughter greeted the doctor's diagnosis 
of the case. 

"I always suspected, Doctor, that you suspected 
my secret — the most charming, sacred secret that 
a young woman ever has, and the suspicion an- 
noyed me at the time ; but now that it is all over 
and gone, I am glad that, if any one should, and 
did know, it was you, rather than one of my own 
sex, or some other man who might have put a bad 
construction on my actions." 

"And I knew," said Boyd, "that you knew the 
state of my feelings for Miss Long at the time, and 
felt extremely proud that you did know it." 

Again there was an impromptu trio of hearty 
laughter. Suddenly the doctor said : 

"By the way, Colonel, I have wondered a thou- 
sand times what ever became of your sword, sash 
and revolver, which we could not find when you 
were leaving us to be exchanged." 

"Excuse me for a moment, Doctor," said Boyd. 
Returning with the articles, he placed them in the 



214 THE LAST MAN 

doctor's hands, saying, "They speak for them- 
selves." 

Dr. Gulp's eyes sparkled at first, and then grew 
dim with moisture as he read Miss Long's note, 
now yellow with age, attached to the hilt of the 
sword. "Ah, that was just Hke you, Mrs. Boyd. 
I always ,felt that, somehow or other, you would 
secure these precious articles. 'Tis another apt 
illustration of the old adage, 'Where there's a will 
there's a way.' " 

Said Boyd : "The articles are priceless — not for 
their inherent value, but for the associations con- 
nected with them." 

"So mote it be !" said the doctor. 

At their earnest solicitation, he remained over- 
night, and words of kindness and reminiscence and 
comradery filled the fleeting hours till long after 
midnight. 

And when, on the morrow, these three noble 
souls clasped hands and "good-byes" were spoken, 
and Dr. Gulp departed, a friendship as strong as 
life had been crystallized and cemented forever. 



XX. 

THE ENDING. 

Several years subsequent to the pageant of July 
4th, 1926, on that other national anniversary cele- 
brating the birth of Washington, Colonel Boyd, 
although quite feeble, participated in a distinguished 
public function commemorative of the great event. 

Returning home, much exhausted, he retired 
early and was soon asleep. Young Charles Long 
came in, and, as was his custom, rested on a couch 
in his uncle's room. 

The clocks had rung out the midnight hour, the 
lights in the Boyd mansion were extinguished, and 
almost perfect silence reigned. Suddenly a suc- 
cession of reports of firearms — four of them — ap- 
parently in the colonel's apartments, rang out 
upon the stillness and awakened the sleeping ser- 
vants. There was a heavy fall of something in the 
colonel's room, and, a moment later, another fall 
outside the room, on the stairway, and then all was 
silent again. The servants, now fully aroused, 
turned up the lights in the lower hall and then 
stood timid and hesitant. 

At the same time two police officers were stand- 
ing talking at a street crossing, about two squares 
distant. Hearing the pistol shots, at that time of 
night, and in the direction of the Boyd mansion, 



21b- THE LAST MAN 

they moved with more than ordinary celerity, and 
reached the grounds in front just as the Hghts were 
turned up in the hall. Ringing the door bell vig- 
orously, one of the servants, a colored man, tim- 
idly ventured to open the door. There stood the 
policemen, who asked him where the shooting was. 

" 'Deed, I doesn't know, but 'peared to me ez if 
it war upstairs in de Colonel's room. I was dead 
asleep, and dunno jist whar it war. I didn't do no 
shootin'." 

"Where is the Colonel's room?" asked one of 
the officers. 

"On de next floh above," replied the servant. 

"And where is the Colonel?" asked they. 

"Dunno ; guess he's upstahs in de room with 
young Mistah Long. I hesn't seed either of dem 
since afoah dark." 

"And who are these colored people back yon- 
der?" asked the officer. 

"Dem's de oder sarvants, boss," said he. 

"Well, now, you just stay with us, and don't try 
to get away; do you hear?" said the officer. 

"Yes, sail, I heahs." 

Then, with revolvers in hand, and the servant 
pushed ahead of them, they began the ascent of the 
stairway. 

Ha ! They reached the landing where the stair- 
way turned at a right angle, and there, in the 
shadow, lies a man. They bend forward and look 
closer. The man is either asleep, or dead, or in 
hiding. They push the servant forward, regard- 



THE ENDING 217 

less of his fears and expostulations. The prone 
figure moves not. In a minute more they are 
assured that he is dead. They cause the servant 
to go up to the hall above and turn on the light. 
Yes, the man is dead, and the ofiicers recognize 
him as a notorious housebreaker and thief who 
had eluded the vigilance of the police force of the 
Capital and other cities for years. His revolver 
is still held in his right hand. A little pool of blood 
near his chest shows where the ball had penetrated. 
They wrest the revolver from his hand and proceed 
to complete the ascent of the stainvay, one cau- 
tioning the other to "look sharp" for the dead rob- 
ber's partner. They reach the second floor, peer 
cautiously in all directions, then move forward to 
the door of the colonel's apartment, which is wide 
open. 

The room is dark, but the ofiicers compel the 
servant to enter and turn up the light. Horrible ! 
There lies a young man on the floor, dead, his 
hand still clasping a revolver ! 

After assuring themselves that the dead robber 
had no accomplice, or that, if there was one, he 
had escaped, they return to the young man. There 
is the small pink spot on his forehead which shows 
where a ball went crashing into his brain. His 
death was instantaneous. They turn to the bed 
on which lies Colonel Boyd, unconscious, but 
breathing loud and stertorous. His eyes are wide 
open, but he sees not. All his senses and sensa- 
tions are suspended, if not destroyed. Away runs 



218 THE LAST MAN 

one of the officers for a physician. The physician 
comes, administers a restorative, and the colonel 
returns to consciousness. 

Looking about anxiously, his first words are, 
"Where is Charles — Charles Long?" The physi- 
cian and officers realize the importance of hiding 
from him the fate of the young man, and so parry 
the inquiry. 

"Where was he when you retired, Colonel ?" asks 
the physician. 

"O, don't trifle with me, Doctor ; I was awake 
when the robber and Charles fired upon each 
other, but all at once I lost consciousness. Tell 
me where Charles is, Doctor," plead the poor, dis- 
tressed old man. 

"I wasn't here," said the physician ; "can you 
officers answer the Colonel's question?" 

"No," said one of them, "we were not here, 
either." 

"Charles and the robber both fired," said the 
colonel, "and Charles was a dead shot, and so I 
think he wounded, and maybe killed, the scoun- 
drel. Have you looked for the robbers?" 

The officers and the physician exchange looks, 
and one of the officers replies : 

"Yes, Colonel, the robber is killed, and lies out 
here on the stairway. The young man shot him 
in the breast." 

"Didn't the robber have a revolver, too?" asks 
the colonel. 

"O, yes, here it is," said the officer. 



THE ENDING 219 

"Well, where is Charles? I demand to know. 
Is he killed, too?" 

"Now, Colonel Boyd," said the doctor, "you 
have seen death in many forms in your life, have 
you not?" 

"O, yes; but tell me, is Charles killed?" asks he. 

"Well, you must not be surprised or shocked at 
anything, Colonel," said the doctor. 

"Go on ! Tell me the worst Doctor," said the 
old man. "Is Charles dead?" 

"Yes," said the doctor, "he is dead. The thief 
shot him in the head." 

"I feared so," said the old man. "O, he was a 
grand young man, and I had made him heir to 
most of my estate. Now he's gone. Well, we 

shall'all go soon, and " here he was seized with 

a spasm, and lost consciousness again. In vain 
did the doctor employ all the means known to 
medical science to resuscitate him. 

His pulsations weakened, stopped within an 
hour, and he was dead ! 

The doctor opened the blinds, threw up the win- 
dows, and the first streakings of the dawn of a 
midsummer morning stole into the apartment and 
the hall where lay the three lifeless forms. 

Detectives had been sent for by the police offi- 
cers, and, on their arrival, proceeded to ascertain 
and arrange the facts resulting in the triple tragedy. 

The sad intelligence of the death of Colonel 
Boyd had reached every household and every ear 
in the city before the morning papers were issued. 



220 THE LAST MAN 

The Commissioners of the District issued an extra 
morning paper, recommending that the flags, 
which on yesterday had fluttered in joy and peace, 
should be permitted to remain in their places, and 
that a service of black crape, the emblem of sor- 
row, should be attached. The people without ex- 
ception observed the suggestion, and for the next 
three days the city was in deep mourning. 

The detectives ascertained the facts and the 
coroner's jury rendered verdicts accordingly. 

The housebreaker, bent on robbery, and taking 
advantage of the tired condition of the household 
and the city, had located the Boyd mansion during 
the preceding afternoon, with the intention of rob- 
bery, and murder if necessary. 

Climbing up a ladder at the back of the house, 
he pried up a window and softly entered. There 
was one element in the problem of which he was 
ignorant. He did not know that there was any 
one in the apartment with Colonel Boyd. Had he 
known this, he would not have ventured. He 
entered the apartment, when suddenly some one in 
the darkness fired upon him and he was wounded 
in the left arm. A desperate character, he pulled 
his revolver and fired at the dim figure. Again 
the colonel's protector fired, and the thief felt that 
he was mortally wounded, but he summoned up 
his remaining though fast-failing strength, aimed, 
and fired again, and had the fiendish pleasure of 
hearing the man fall heavily. Then he turned and 



THE ENDING 221 

hastened to get out of the house, but on reaching 
the stairway he too fell dead. 

On the third day after these thrilling events a 
vast and notable procession accompanied the mor- 
tal remains of the colonel to Arlington. In the 
grave prepared by the side of his long-since de- 
parted wife, in that most beautiful and classic of 
Government cemeteries, they laid him, and filled 
the grave to the full with fragrant flowers, fitting 
emblems of the life and qualities of the grand man 
whose ashes lay beneath. 

There 

"He sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle; 
No sound can awake him to glory again!" 

Within a short distance from his tomb, less than 
the flight of an arrow, there is a square, massive 
granite monument, erected to "The Unknown 
Dead," on one of whose faces is chiseled that im- 
mortal quatrain : 

"On Fame's eternal camping ground, 
Their silent tents are spread; 
And glory guards, with solemn round, 
The bivouac of the dead!" 

Of all that mighty host, of all those victorious 
armies, whose tread extended through twelve 
States, and was heard around the world ; of all that 
grand body, once known as the Grand Army of 
the Republic, — whose banner, bore the words, 
"Fraternity, Loyalty, Charity," — Colonel Alfred 
Boyd was 

THE LAST MAN ! 



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Autobiographies and Portraits of the President, 
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Coin, Currency and Commerce. An Essay in Exposition 
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The Southampton Insurrection. By William 9. Dkkwry, 
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History of Slavery in Virginia. By James Curtis 
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Early Days of Washington. By Miss Sally Somervell 

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Joan of Arc. A drama in verse by Charles James. 

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The Last Man. A novel by N. Monroe McLaughlin. 

Cloth . 222pp.; 5x7Vi. Price, $1.00. 

As It Happened. A novel by Josephine Winfield Brake. 

" * * * I have no hesitation in saying, I believe it to be the 

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Auerbach." Dewit C. Jones, Columbus (Ohio) Record. 

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The Regeneration. A novel by Herbert Baird Stuipson, 
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Complete Poems of Colonel John A. Joyce. Author 
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American Statesmen. Being many yams and good stories 
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Waifs of the Press. By Harry L. Work. 

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Vade - Mecum to the Dinner Table. By Edmund, 
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Mr. Billy Downs and His Likes. By Col. Richard 
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regarded as Colonel Johnston's best work, A Bachelor' i Coun- 
selings, Parting from Sailor, Two Adminigtrations, Almost a 
Wedding in Dooly District, Something in a Name, and Townes 
and Their Cousins. In The Conservative Review for February, 
1899, Mr. Bernard M. Steiner, his biographer, said, " Colonel 
Richard Malcolm Johnston was often called ' The Nestor of 
Southern Literary Men,' but the idea of old age never seemed 
to be a proper one to associate with him ; he was so full of life, 
so keenly interested in all that went on ■* * * American 
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but, most of all, the world had lost the present influence of a 
noble man." 
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She Cometh Forth Like a Flower. A series of wash- 
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front rank of American artists. 
Half cloth binding ; 9 x 12 inches ; 8 full-page dravnngs and 8 
pages of text. Makes an unusually handsome gift. Price in a ho», 
prepaid, $1.25. 

Cupid and Creeds. A novel, by W. J. Newton. In this de- 
lightful story a quartette of lovers hold the attention, and will 
delight those who like a good old-fashioned story, as well as 
readers of other tastes. The various experiences and troubles 
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absorbing interest from the first page to the last. 
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Brambleton Fair. A comedy in three acts, by W. J. Newton. 
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PATRIOTIC SONGS, by W. J. NEWTON. 

The Columbian Anthem. Music by E. Berliner. 

This anthem was first sung by the Daughters of the American 
Revolution at the National Council, February 22, 1897, and on 
Flag Day celebration of the same year was presented with the 
full Chorus and Orchestra of the Castle Square Opera Company 
at the Lafayette Square Opera House in Washington, and by a 
number of Public Schools in Washington and in New York. 

At a concert given by Prof. Fanciulli with the full Marine Band 
at the White House Grounds in the presence of President and 
Mrs. McKinley, on Saturday, September 18, 1897, the Columbian 
Anthem was selected as the opening number. 

The Baltimore American, commenting on this concert (composi- 
tions by American composers having been exclusively selected) 
under date of September 19th, 1897, said : " Among the composi- 
tions rendered was the Columbian Anthem by E. Berliner. Con- 
sidering that this country has not a National melody, other than 
those borrowed from Europe, the Columbian Antherin. has a good 
chance to be some day selected as our National Melody." 
Songs From Brambleton Fair. Words and music, in- 
cluding Love Needs No Language; Say Yes, My Darling; The 
Best of Friends Must Part ; Wait For Me, Dearest, and all choruses. 

Price, in paper, 60 cents. 

Old Glory. The Blake School Flag Song, music by E. A. 

Varela. 
Gloria Old Glory. The Brent School Flag Song, music by 

F. Gaisberg. 
The Flag of Washington. The Abbot School Flag Song, 

music by W. J. Newton. 

Songs For Sale by Music Dealers Only. 

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431 Eleventh Street, WASHINGTON. D. C 



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